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Head of troubled Harvard primate center steps down

March 2, 2012
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SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass.—The interim director of a Harvard Medical School research facility where three monkeys have died in recent months has decided to step down even though he says university officials asked him to stay on.

Dr. Fred Wang said on Thursday that he is leaving for "personal and professional reasons."

Wang was pointed director of Harvard's New England Primate Research Center in Southborough in September to address problems at the facility.

In his short tenure, four monkeys have died. The latest, an elderly cotton top tamarin, was found in its cage last Sunday in poor condition and without water. It was the fourth monkey death at the center since June 2010. The facility has more than 2,000 monkeys.

University officials have since put in new procedures to ensure animals' welfare.

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