Why non-human primates such as Rhesus Macaques?
Non-human primates (NHPs) are genetically related to humans. Because of such a relationship, they are similar anatomically, developmentally, physiologically, reproductively, and immunologically. Thus, NHPs are far superior to rodents as animal models to study human health and disease.
The murine model is an important tool in studying human disease and development. Mice share 90% of the same genes with humans with well-established molecular tools while having the ability to develop targeted mutants for genes of interest. With a relatively short life span, high fecundity, and a compact size the murine life cycle and disease processes can be studied over the course of a couple of years as opposed to decades in humans.
Cell culture allows us to learn about cellular behavior under a carefully controlled environment. Cell culture removes many of the variables associated with animal model studies. This technique allows us to study cell response under a variety of conditions that can be tailored to specific questions we are asking. Additionally, cell culture is easily scalable to achieve ideal sample numbers.