The German Primate Center (DPZ) - Leibniz Institute for Primate Research is an internationally highly recognized institution whose research is excellently published and internationally received. The DPZ fulfills its tasks in the areas of research, research infrastructures and knowledge transfer in a remarkably diverse manner and is an indispensable resource that works closely with its partners in the Göttingen Campus. This is how the Senate of the Leibniz Association sums up the result of the regular review of the DPZ in its statement now published.
Every seven years at the latest, the research institutes of the Leibniz Association must be put to the test and show that they are worth continuing to be funded by the federal and state governments. This federal and state funding is conditional on the institutions achieving supraregional, ideally international significance and conducting research at the highest level. The German Primate Center - Leibniz Institute for Primate Research in Göttingen had its turn in May 2020. A 14-member commission of independent, internationally renowned experts who do not work at Leibniz institutions were commissioned by the Senate of the Leibniz Association to evaluate the DPZ's performance and strategic planning. "We are delighted with this extraordinarily positive result, which we owe to our highly qualified, motivated and responsible employees," says Stefan Treue, Director of the DPZ. "Our focus on health research and primate cognition, from basic research to medical application, as well as our services, policy advice and transparent public relations were highly praised by the evaluation commission."
The German Primate Center conducts research with a broad spectrum of methods and scientific questions and foci in the fields of health research and primate cognition. It operates and is expanding the necessary infrastructure for this, including an animal facility, an imaging center, a hormone laboratory, and four research stations in the tropics to study primates in their natural environment.
DPZ has made compelling progress since the already decidedly positive evaluation in 2013, he said, adding that it is a great achievement how DPZ bundles research, infrastructure and transfer tasks in an internationally competitive manner. The research results generated at the institute are excellently published and internationally recognized. In addition, the DPZ provides extremely important and diverse services in the transfer of its results to medicine, for example in the areas of corona and cardiovascular research, as well as in the form of political consulting and public relations work. The integration into the Göttingen Campus benefits research and, in particular, the promotion of doctoral students.
Outstanding animal husbandry
The expertise in keeping, breeding, health and behavior of primates is described by the reviewers as "outstanding", and the maintenance of high animal care and research standards is ensured both by the consideration and constant further development of the 3R principle (Replacement, Refinement, Reduction) and by the regular training and further education of the responsible staff in the field of animal care and science.
Field research and species protection
The evaluation commission emphasized that the four research stations in Madagascar, Senegal, Peru and Thailand provide valuable insights into the social behavior of primates in their natural environment and make an important contribution to species conservation. It also praised the researchers' commitment to training students on site.