Tip of the Week: Mouse Genomic Pathology

Ok, so this isn’t the same as our usual tips. But recently I was involved in an animal models project that led me to this resource on genomic pathology. The deeper I got into this animal model project, the more clear it became that a tremendous amount of genomic data is coming that is going to be great–but it will need to be paired with appropriate histology and pathology for a more complete understanding of the genomic biology.

All these model organism projects–knockout mice or rats, mutant mice for cancer studies for example, inbred lines with specific characteristics and genomic regions like the Collaborative Cross, treated animals–need quality pathology assessments. There are phenotyping projects like Europhenome being done on large sets of animals, and they require not only standardized descriptions and ontologies, but also image samples and evaluations.  In an age where we all scan around at all this software looking at genes and genomic regions, we have to have pathology data as well. And that data will also need to be standardized and stored in appropriate database resources for researchers to find and examine. I recently heard Dr. Robert Cardiff talk about his work on Pathobiology of the Mouse and how crucial it is to capture the information in a standardized and searchable ways. He’s one of the drivers of this project, and fully understands the needs in this arena.

More people should be trained in pathology to examine these animals. So during this project I was impressed to find out about an online learning project that could be helpful for people who need to understand the foundations of animal research and be introduced to important aspects of pathology.  This project has won an award for Outstanding Distance Learning (May 25).  So as a public service in genomics I point you to this UC Davis project.

You can have a look at the background and goals for this from the Center for Genomic Pathology site.  From there you can click the navigation for UCD Information Session to get a taste of their course, or click on my image above.  It’s a nice effort.

We have no relationships with UC Davis or this online learning project–we just thought it was a valuable and important component to genomics and wanted to talk about  it.