Pathology & Tissue Program

The Pathology and Tissue Program is an integration of comparative pathology activities occurring at the Washington National Primate Research Center and those occurring within the UW Department of Comparative Medicine. Using this model, Washington National Primate Research Center pathologists provide routine pathology support for Washington National Primate Research Center animals, with ancillary support, expertise, and guidance provided by DCM pathologists and mission-dedicated technicians and laboratories.

This organizational structure permits efficient use of pathology expertise, continuity in service, and a critical mass of pathology expertise. This integrated comparative pathology unit also provides an excellent training opportunity for students such as those enrolled in the Department of Comparative Medicine post-doctoral training program, which offers training in laboratory animal medicine and comparative pathology.

A particularly important function of this comparative pathology unit is support of the Tissue Distribution Program. The TDP provides a wide variety of nonhuman primate tissues to investigative groups within and outside the WaNPRC. This program is an extremely valuable method of conserving the nonhuman primate resource. NHP tissues and biological materials are collected in preparation for RNA/DNA isolation, cell culture, immunohistochemistry/histology, anatomic dissection, and cell sorting. Capabilities of the TDP include, but are not limited to flash frozen preservation, sterile preparation, perfusion, technical surgical dissections, and OCT embedding. Tissue and pathology services ( ACVP board certified Veterinary Pathologists), full histology services (including immunohistochemistry and frozen sectioning), and protocol development consultation are available.

In conjunction with the Histology and Imaging core of the University of Washington DCM, research capabilities post-collection include in situ hybridization, confocal and fluorescent microscopy, live cell imaging (DeltaVision), and whole slide scanning with image analysis (Visiopharm,Nikon Elements, and Image Pro). Centralized coordination of nonhuman primate tissue requests with animal availability allows support for a large number of biomedical programs with significantly decreased impact on the animal resource.