The University of Louisiana at Lafayette-New Iberia Research Center is located on a former naval base outside of New Iberia, Louisiana, which is 30 miles south of Lafayette. The base was built in the 1950's and closed in the 1960's, when the land was donated to the parish of Iberia to promote economic growth.

Gulf South Research Institute (GSRI) began the Life Science Division at the site and focused primarily on rodent animal models. Some primates were housed there as well. In 1984, GSRI discontinued its biological research activities and UL Lafayette (then the University of Southwestern Louisiana) redefined the nature of the facility and created the New Iberia Research Center, operating a Primate Research Center as a contract support facility.

At that time, the primary focus of the Center was to provide private industry and the federal government with a reliable source of native born, quality bred non-human primates. In 1990, University of Louisiana at Lafayette-New Iberia Research Center expanded its mission by providing pre-clinical safety, pharmacodynamic, pharmacokinetic, and efficacy evaluations of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology products. Over the years, much growth and improvement to the facilities has occurred including the most recent construction of two new automated research buildings. Much attention has also been given to the development of suitable living quarters for the approximately 6,000 non-human primate residents of the facility.