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Pathology Consulting & Collaboration for Preclinical Research

The Department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology (MCP) and the Phenotyping Core offer research specialized pathology consulting and collaboration to the Johns Hopkins Community.  Formal Faculty Research Pathology Collaborations are strongly encouraged to optimize the value of comparative  pathology, comparative medicine and animal modelling expertise to preclinical research.
Currently our department and our Phenotyping (collaborative) core offer 3 preclinical research pathology options:

  1. Research Pathology Collaboration - involves % effort salary +/- equipment support, and offers highly customized pathology and related expertise to support preclinical research.  Depending on project and research interests, our collaborating faculty can provide expertise in necropsy, histopathology and related procedures, pathology analysis, scoring, reporting, research team training, as well as in model selection, development and validation, experimental design and procedures, formal and informal presentations, image, manuscript, grant and presentation preparation.  More detail. 
    To initiate Contact Dr. Brayton  410 502 3050, or other MCP pathology faculty.
  2. Pathology to assess research related morbidity or mortality (e.g. illness or death associated with experimental (including genetic) manipulations; phenotypes in genetically engineered mice) should be initiated by contacting the phenotyping core.  This fee based pathology option is available on a limited basis only until formal (% effort) collaboration is developed.  More information at 
    To initiate Contact Dr. Brayton  410 502 3050or other MCP pathology faculty.
  3. Diagnostic pathology  – to diagnose potential risks to animal colonies or to personnel, especially infectious diseases.  Contact RAR 410 955 3275 regarding unexpected illness or death in your animals. 
    These cases MUST be initiated bythe RAR Clinical Call Procedure.
    Ongoing problems or those attributed to research procedures, or to 'special needs' animals may incur additional cost, and will be referred to the phenotyping core.

Grant supported (%FTE) collaborations should be developed for large and long term projects involving pathology. 

Pathology support and collaboration frequently involve acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data, as well as contributions to study design, images and manuscript preparation that warrant authorship. Johns Hopkins Policy on authorship should be followed, per: 

Pathology consultation with board certified MCP pathology faculty is available.  Formal (% effort) collaboration normally is required for longer term consulting arrangements. 
More information at Grant supported (%FTE) collaborations should be developed for large and long term projects involving pathology. 

Clinical Pathology (hematology (CBC) and clinical chemistry) are available (fee for service) at reasonable cost and rapid turn around through the Phenotyping Core.  Contact Nadine Forbes regarding tests and submission.  
More pathology test information at
More in vivo test information at

MCP pathology faculty includes 6 veterinary pathologists with diverse expertise in comparative medicine, comparative pathology, animal models, and translational research.  They include internationally recognized experts and research leaders in mouse pathobiology, phenotyping and functional genetics, primate pathology, neuropathology, retrovirology, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

The Phenotyping Core is a collaborative resource that interacts with multiple departments to facilitate interdisciplinary research, including behavioral, imaging, metabolic and clinical and anatomic pathology, especially in genetically engineered mice, and provides pathology support and training for many areas of translational research. Contact  Dr. Brayton to discuss your project. 
More pathology test information at
More in vivo test information at

Our Pathology Residents and Fellows are veterinarians (DVM or VMD), selected from highly qualified candidates with strong research and comparative pathology interests. Our comparative pathology training program is one of the oldest and most widely recognized in the US.  These motivated young scientists and pathologists provide substantial value-added to our pathology collaborations and research support.

Training and participation of graduate students and other research team members in pathology aspects of the projects are strongly encouraged to enhance understanding of normal and deviant pathobiology phenotypes, and to optimize project specific specimen collection and processing.  The phenotyping core offers project-specific training.  Contact  Dr. Brayton to discuss your project.  Our department also offers several courses in the SOM and SPH graduate schools that are broadly relevant to translational research.

Below are additional details regarding pathology options:

2.  Research Pathology Collaborations  - involve % effort +/- equipment reagent support.
Collaborating MCP faculty expect to participate in the research team, providing expertise:
- in clinical and anatomic pathology testing, and other phenotyping for preclinical research. 
  More information/tests  at 
- in animal model selection and development, and experimental design,
- in evaluating data to determine next steps/tests in hypothesis driven research;
- in training to enhance animal models expertise of graduate students, postdocs and research staff;
- in training in animal model and specimen handling to optimize pathology and other phenotyping ssessments;
- in image, manuscript and grant preparation. 
Individual preliminary reports as well as periodic project updates can be provided in spreadsheets and as formal presentations. Pathology evaluations for formal research collaborations frequently involve our postdoctoral pathology trainees, who offer additional value to these collaborations.
Not less than 5% FTE commitment per project is recommended.  5% effort represents 2-3 weeks work time.  As few as 20 complex cases with photomicrographs, scoring, spreadsheet reporting, special techniques, periodic updates, presentations and manuscript assistance may exceed 2 weeks pathologist time, with current still photomicroscopy and software (up to 10 programs).  Less complex cases with appropriate controls and optimal specimen handling and processing can substantially improve throughput and value from pathology. 
Contact the Phenotyping Core or specific  MCP pathology faculty to initiate Research Pathology Collaborations.

2.  Fee for service research pathology is available on a limited basis.  
More information/tests  at 
A standard 10 slide examination (>40 tissues) is likely to exceed $400 based on the costs of reagents and technical/professional/faculty time.  Additional cost is incurred by:  Special stains and procedures, including photomicrographs, scoring, spreadsheets, summary analyses and manuscript assistance.  
Trainining of research team members in collections, measurements and other procedures is promoted to improve their understanding of the procedures, of their pathology phenotypes or other results, as well as to control technical handling costs.
Our Standard protocol (10 slides > 40 tissues).  PPT presentation about the procedure.
Standard procedures include histology processing by MCP, initial review by postdoctoral trainees, final review and reporting by board certified faculty pathologists.   Slides and blocks normally belong to MCP, but usually will be available to the submitter by request. (For comparison contract research charges for comparable gross and microscopic examination of mice may well exceed $1000, with evaluation by pathologists who may not have as much mouse, research, or comparative expertise).

3.  Diagnostic pathology is free to investigators to diagnose potential risks to animal colonies or to personnel.  
Animals with unexpected illness should be reported promptly according to RAR procedure.
Contact:  RAR 410 955 3275 to initiate clinical and diagnostic pathology evaluations.
Ongoing problems or those attributed to research procedures, or to 'special needs' animals may incur additional cost, and will be referred to the phenotyping core.

Mouse Pathobiology and Phenotyping Course

Go to Phenotyping Pathology Test Page

Go to Phenotyping Core Home page