PETA Asks Feds: ‘Did UMass Experimenter Lie to Get Taxpayer Money for Monkey Study?’

For Immediate Release:
February 21, 2023

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Amherst, Mass.

PETA is demanding that two federal agencies immediately investigate whether notorious University of Massachusetts–Amherst (UMass) experimenter Agnès Lacreuse lied on a recent application for taxpayer money to fund a preposterous experiment that would torment marmosets and appears to be a retread of at least eight non-animal studies.

PETA sent a letter to the Office of Research Integrity and another to the National Institute on Aging today, calling for an investigation into whether Lacreuse lied on a grant application to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a “sleep fragmentation” experiment in which marmosets would be blasted with sounds as loud as a lawn mower for six minutes every 15 minutes throughout the night. The experiment would purportedly advance research into Alzheimer’s disease.

Lacreuse’s application claims that the experiment would be impossible using non-animal methods and that no human data is available on the role that sleep fragmentation plays in Alzheimer’s disease. But at least eight NIH-funded studies on human volunteers have investigated this connection, suggesting that Lacreuse may have deliberately overstated the import and novelty of the experiment in order to secure funding.

Lacreuse took the taxpayer’s money and assured NIH that she would conduct the experiments at UMass. But at the last minute, she switched their location to the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Wisconsin National Primate Research Center (WNPRC), a site that lacks the necessary equipment, stalling the study for two years.

“These misrepresentations have allowed Lacreuse to net federal funding for useless marmoset-torment experiments that she isn’t even capable of executing,” says PETA neuroscientist Dr. Katherine Roe. “PETA is calling on federal agencies to investigate this attempt to snatch up funds for a study that has already been conducted with humane, non-animal methods.”

Additional information about violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act at UMass is available here, and more about WNPRC’s lengthy history of neglecting animals is available here.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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