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Comparative Pathology Core

Director: Amy Durham, MS, VMD, DACVP

The main objective of the Comparative Pathology Core is to provide skillful interpretation of lesions in animal models. This is best achieved using board-certified veterinary pathologists who, unlike human pathologists, have specific training in comparative pathology and animal models, including recognizing common background strain-related lesions. In fact over the last several years, Core pathologists have discovered misinterpretations of histopathologic specimens made by investigators and helped to clarify the results, leading to accurate assessment and reporting of data.

The Core supports the cancer research community by training investigators in proper mouse autopsy techniques and tissue collection, consulting about study design, performing comprehensive slide evaluations with subjective and objective grading/assessments, and offering additional testing including immunohistochemical staining. In addition, the Core provides a unique mouse phenotyping service for investigators developing new genotypes with unknown biologic affects.

The Core is efficient through its utilization of the current infrastructure in the Department of Pathobiology, and School of Veterinary Medicine, including microscopes, digital photomicroscopy, an autopsy suite, and a full-service histology and immunohistochemistry labs. A sophisticated web-based application system accessible to all Penn investigators allows for easy on-line requests for services, routine email updates on the status of the project, downloadable results from the pathologist, and automatic monthly billing.


Amy Durham, MS, VMD, DACVP

For a full description of this service, please visit the Core's website: