James H. Yahr, M.D.,F.A.C.S.

Proposed protocols involving nonhuman primates should be carefully reviewed to assess whether data gleaned from the work will reliably translate to humans. By employing systematic reviews to identify, appraise, and synthesize all available evidence, researchers can assess the likelihood that animal data will translate to humans (1). Multiple systematic reviews have documented the inapplicability of data from nonhuman animals for numerous areas of investigation to humans—prompting recommendations that systematic reviews be conducted before approval is granted for animal use (2, 3, 4). Indeed, the Netherlands now requires a systematic review as part of grant applications (5). NIH should implement a similar approach for NIH-supported projects involving nonhuman primates to promote high-quality science while reducing waste.

  1. Hooijmans, C. R., Leenaars, M., & Ritskes-Hoitinga, M. (2010). A gold standard publication checklist to improve the quality of animal studies, to fully integrate the Three Rs, and to make systematic reviews more feasible.
  2. Pound, P., & Bracken, M. B. (2014). Is animal research sufficiently evidence based to be a cornerstone of biomedical research. BMJ, 348, g3387.
  3. Bailey, J. (2014). Monkey-based research on human disease: the implications of genetic differences. Alternatives to laboratory animals: ATLA, 42, 287-317.
  4. Akhtar, A. Z., Pippin, J. J., & Sandusky, C. B. (2008). Animal models in spinal cord injury: a review. Reviews in the Neurosciences, 19(1), 47-60.
  5. de Leeuw, W. (2015). Synthesis of Evidence: Working Together on Systematic Reviews of Animal Studies. Altex, 32(2), 149


James H. Yahr, M.D.,F.A.C.S.


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