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Duke primate center gets second chance

Large cash infusion will upgrade facility and expand research and education

Harvey Black(hblack@chorus.net)

Duke University will spend $4 million over the next few years to upgrade and sustain the Duke University Primate Center, the university announced last week. The center, whose future has been uncertain for several years, had been criticized for failing to contribute to Duke's teaching and research.

"There was not a significant use of the animals to advance research, and there was not a significant use of the animals and the facility for educational purposes," said Duke Provost Peter Lange, describing the conclusions of a 2001 university task force that examined the facility's operation.

"It's undeniable that the primate center had drifted away and formed its own little island," said Anne Yoder, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale and a member for the past 2 years of a long-standing external scientific advisory committee of the center. Lange declined to discuss why the center was not...

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