Biological materials are important research tools that can be used for diagnostic as well as therapeutic purposes. Antibodies have become viable drugs in the market today and there is a general market need for systems that may facilitate production of efficient and effective antibodies. In recent years, monoclonal antibodies have gained significant importance in their use, both as diagnostics and therapeutics, to intervene and combat diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and infections. The present invention relates to the discovery of rabbits, genetically defined as b9, as the biological vehicle for the isolation of chimeric phage displaying Fab with human constant regions and rabbit immunoglobulin heavy and light chain variable regions for the development of diagnostic antibodies and humanized monoclonal therapeutic antibodies of high affinity and specificity (Popkov et al., J. Molec. Biol. 325: 325-335, 2003; Popkov et al., J. Immunol. Methods 288: 149-164, 2004). Recently, many effective antibodies have been developed as a result of the integration of antibody libraries with phage display technology. The rabbit model described in this invention may be used for production of antibodies that may cross react with both human and mouse antigens. Rabbit monoclonal antibodies that react with both human and mouse antigens are of particular relevance for the preclinical evaluation of therapeutic antibodies in mouse models of human diseases. Therefore, this invention has a broad commercial potential in its use as a source for producing monoclonal antibodies for therapeutic interventions in infectious, autoimmune and neurological diseases, nerve damage and cancer.