John C. Bernal

John C. Bernal, D.V.M.

Associate Director of Veterinary Resources and Research Support | Host Pathogen Interaction, Southwest National Primate Research Center

Research Focus

Dr. Bernal oversees all aspects of the SNPRC animal care and use program. He has more than 36 years of experience in laboratory animal care and medicine. To increase the number of certified laboratory animal technicians at Texas Biomed and other institutions, he has developed institution-wide training and certification programs. Dr. Bernal has been integral to developing the SNPRC study process manual that details all of the steps required to complete a study from start to finish. Dr. Bernal oversees and develops standard operating procedures for:

  • Comprehensive socialization and environmental enrichment plan
  • Preventative medicine program (frequent physicals, TB testing, parasite evaluation, viral testing)
  • Veterinary care program
  • Aseptic technique
  • Management of pain and distress
  • Animal enclosure sanitation.

In his role as manager of global primate supplies for a contract research organization (CRO), Dr. Bernal spent more than a decade working in the non-human primate (NHP) breeding/production industry in Asia. As a veterinarian in a CRO, Dr. Bernal was integral to developing a program of modular housing in a GLP facility.

He developed technical procedures for use in an NHP toxicology research laboratory and improved the health and care of NHPs imported into the U.S. for use in biomedical research. Import mortalities in the early 1990s were reaching 6-10%, and dropped below 0.5% thanks to these improved practices that remain effective for improving animal welfare in the primate centers in Asia that help provide a high quality biomedical NHP research model.

Dr. Bernal’s expertise includes the facilities design and implementation, clinical oversight and management of three large macaque breeding, holding and CDC-registered importation facilities. Positions as Director of Laboratory Animal Medicine and Technical Operations for a GLP NHP contract research organization, General Manager for an NHP supply organization, and Executive Director of Global Primate Supplies for a CRO contribute to his success in his current position as Associate Director of Veterinary Resources and Research Support.