Archived News

Lung Disease Expert Named to Direct Primate Research Center

March 19, 2002

Dallas Hyde, an authority on the biology of asthma and other lung diseases, has been named as the new director of the California Regional Primate Research Center at the University of California, Davis.

Hyde, a professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine, has served as interim director of the center since 2000, and as associate dean for research and graduate education for the veterinary school since 1997.

"Dallas Hyde has done an outstanding job as interim director of our primate center. He is an excellent scientist and administrator, and he has the strong support of the primate center personnel," said Barry Klein, vice chancellor for research. "I am confident that under his continuing leadership, the primate center will continue to excel and extend the influence that its cutting-edge research has on the UC Davis and nationwide research communities."

"I am eager to move my research laboratory to join the team of superb investigators at the primate center and Center for Comparative Medicine," Hyde said. "It is a true honor to provide leadership to programs of excellence in infectious diseases like vaccine development to prevent HIV transmission, neurologic disorders like autism and Alzheimer's disease, and lung diseases like asthma."

"Our new focus on childhood health research is aimed at providing the missing science in primates to enhance medical treatments of AIDS, autism and asthma in children," he said.

In addition to his administrative duties, Hyde maintains an active research program. He is part of a UC Davis team that has conducted pioneering research on the relationship between air pollution, common allergies and asthma, using the rhesus macaque monkey as a research model for these ailments.

In 2000, the team's research showed for the first time that occasional exposure to the air pollutant ozone can change how the lungs of young rhesus monkeys develop and lead to a disease similar to childhood asthma in humans. Hyde's research focuses on the role of white blood cells in both injury and repair of the tissue that lines the lungs, especially in relationship to asthma, pulmonary fibrosis and infectious diseases.

Before joining the UC Davis faculty, Hyde served from 1976 to 1979 in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He earned a doctoral degree in anatomy from UC Davis in 1976, a master's degree in biology from Whittier College in 1972 and a bachelor's degree in biological science from UC Irvine in 1967.

He assumes permanent leadership of the primate center just as the 40-year-old research unit is poised for growth and improvements. This spring, UC Davis plans to begin expansion of the center, located about a mile west of the main campus on County Road 98. The primate center is slated to grow from its current population of 3,800 monkeys to about 5,000 monkeys. Plans call for construction of new monkey field corrals and smaller outdoor enclosures, as well as a research office building and trailer, and a rodent facility for the campus's Center for Comparative Medicine.

The primate center is one of eight regional primate centers supported by the National Institutes of Health to conduct research in selected areas related to human health. To support its research program, the center maintains a large primate-breeding program.

The center also provides monkeys, mostly rhesus macaques, to research programs at seven UC campuses, as well as other research institutions nationwide. These programs include studies of cancer, asthma, AIDS, osteoporosis, neurodegenerative diseases, and infant development and nutrition.

Neurobiologist John Morrison, who had been named in October to assume the primate center directorship, decided for personal reasons to remain in his position at New York's Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Media contact:

Pat Bailey, (530) 752-9843

This news release was originally distributed by Campus News Services March 07, 2002.