Timeline of Research Successes involving NHPs

Since 1900, the Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine has been awarded almost 70 times to researchers whose ground-breaking insights were attained with the help of animal tests.

Our timeline displays the non-human primate research behind the world's major medical advances.


  • Modern anesthesia
  • Development of polio vaccine
  • Development of yellow fever vaccine
  • Cancer chemotherapy
  • Penicillin: Discovered in 1928

  • Mapping of the heart’s connections to arteries
  • Therapeutic use of cortisone for reducing inflammation and allergy symptoms
  • Discovery of the biochemical cause of depression

  • Procedures to restore blood supply to the brain
  • Understanding of the inner workings of the basal ganglia, the part of the brain that coordinates movement

  • Processing of visual information by the brain
  • First animal model for research on Parkinson’s disease
  • First hepatitis B vaccine
  • Development of rhesus monkey model for HIV/AIDS
  • First treatment of naturally diabetic NHPs

  • Anthrax vaccine development
  • Tenofovir: Prevention and treatment of HIV disease
  • Naturally regenerative mechanisms in the NHP brain

  • NHPs are prime models for the development of HIV treatments and potential vaccines
  • Gene that boosts dopamine production and strengthens brain cells used to successfully treat monkeys showing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
  • Covid-19 vaccine development