CHHE investigators use sophisticated approaches in environmental health research including the development and analysis of genetically engineered mouse models, recombinant-inbred mouse intercross populations, traditional rodent models as well as non-mammalian model systems such zebra fish and Medaka fish to identify genes/pathways important in environmentally-induced diseases Animal model studies and tissue pathology are essential for understanding organ and multi-organ effects in environmental human health research and to understand and prevent the adverse impacts of environmental factors on human health and well-being. In fact, over 40% of CHHE researchers use vertebrate animal models and this number is expected to increase. Animal models serve to answer fundamental questions about the type of tissue injury and potential human disease/s caused by environmental exposures as well as the effects of new preventative or corrective intervention. To understand how this injury forms in vivo, animal models and now genetically engineered mouse models have become standard tools to mechanistically dissect the contribution/s of specific genes and molecular pathways. The organ and multi-organ tissue reactions in these models are complex and genetic manipulations are only becoming more sophisticated. This situation has led to a nationally recognized need for pathology expertise in biomedical research and collaborative animal model assessment to best understand the tissue changes created in these animal models. Relevant modeling techniques now also include fish and domesticated species, the latter of which provide the relevance of scale and trans-species testing before translation to human application. It is apparent that CHHE researchers need regular and timely access to expertise in pathology to fully evaluate complex tissue responses in different animal models needed to advance their in vivo research and to successfully model human disease. A new Comparative Pathology Facility Core (CPFC) is essential to provide a central dedicated resource of veterinary pathology expertise and services to facilitate assessment of animal models by CHHE member scientists.
Histologists will facilitate tissue handling, processing and staining procedures, including routine staining, special staining and immunohistochemical staining. Boarded veterinary pathologists will be available to integrate these technical steps with experimental planning, macroscopic and histologic organ assessment and tissue staining results. HFC pathologists will also provide support for multiorgan evaluation in different species and for comparison of findings to the pathology of human diseases or conditions being modeled. Training will be provided to transfer experimental/laboratory methods as well as pathology organ assessment tools to researchers and graduate students. The centralized HFC instrumentation will help to expand the capabilities of CHHE investigators. Dr. Keith Linder, PhD, DVM is the Director of the Histopathology Facility Core.
1) Provide dedicated pathology services for tissue lesion and animal model assessment.
2) Provide reduce cost and priority access to pathology services for CHHE researchers.
3) Foster pathology research collaborations focused on environmental health science leading to collaborative grant applications and publications.
4) Provide training to CHHE researchers on tissue handling, histological processing and immunohistochemical techniques and assessment.
5) Provide training to CHHE researchers in morphological assessment tools and grading of pathological tissue lesions.
6) Initiate new histopathology services for CHHE researchers in lesion characterization and localization of molecular targets in tissue lesions.
Keith E. Linder, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVP, Director of Comparative Pathology Facility Core, Associate Professor Department of Population Health and Pathobiology
John Cullen, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVP, Professor of Pathology, Department of Population Health and Pathobiology
Jerry “Mac” Law, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVP, Professor of Pathology, Department of Population Health and Pathobiology
Luke Borst, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVP, Assistant Professor of Pathology, Department of Population Health and Pathobiology
David Malarkey, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVP, Director of NTP/Pathologist, NIEHS, RTP