The Population Council's Center for Biomedical Research (CBR) - located at New York’s Rockefeller University - is a vibrant hub of scientific investigation and product development. For more than 60 years, research conducted at the CBR laboratories has addressed critical questions in reproductive health and supported the development of innovative products that help protect the health and well-being of millions of people worldwide.
The Center's researchers pioneered the field of long-acting, reversible contraception (LARCs), developing intrauterine devices (IUDs) such as ParaGard® (the copper-T IUD) and Mirena®; implants such as Norplant® and Jadelle®; and most recently a contraceptive vaginal system known as the Annovera® ring; which have led to dozens of technological descendants. Today, more than 170 million people worldwide are using contraceptive technologies developed at CBR or based on CBR’s technologies.
Despite significant progress in improving sexual and reproductive health, significant challenges remain:
- Every day, more than one million people contract sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that can cause cancer or infertility, complicate pregnancies or increase the risk of infection with HIV.
- More than 5,200 people become infected with HIV each day, which disproportionately affects girls and young women aged 15-24 in pandemic regions.
- Eighty-six million women will experience unplanned pregnancies this year – pregnancies that largely could have been prevented with modern contraceptive methods.
The Center's scientists are investigating new approaches to prevent HIV and other STIs, and developing next-generation contraceptives and innovative new multi-purpose prevention technologies, or MPTs, which are designed to prevent HIV, other STIs and, in some cases, unintended pregnancy in a single product. Researchers are developing these new tools as sustained release formulations in rings, gels, tablets, fast-dissolving inserts and other innovative delivery systems that are designed to be safer, lower-cost and easier to use.
The Center's research reflects the Population Council’s unique experience and perspective:
- The Council’s experience in reproductive health, HIV and other STIs, basic science research, behavioral science, and public health guides the Center's efforts to develop the products that women and men need, and will use.
- The biomedical innovations developed at the Center's labs have the potential to expand the options to improve sexual and reproductive health significantly.
- Our deep experience in regulatory and health systems management, and in product introduction and social marketing, help ensure that the advances developed in our labs will be available to the people who need them most.
- The Council has seven FDA-approved products, many patents and U.S. FDA applications.