Challenges and Opportunities for the Veterinary Pathologist in Biomedical Research

Mark James Hoenerhoff, David K. Meyerholz, Cory Brayton, Amanda P. Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Animal models have critical roles in biomedical research in promoting understanding of human disease and facilitating development of new therapies and diagnostic techniques to improve human and animal health. In the study of myriad human conditions, each model requires in-depth characterization of its assets and limitations in order for it to be used to greatest advantage. Veterinary pathology expertise is critical in understanding the relevance and translational validity of animal models to conditions under study, assessing morbidity and mortality, and validating outcomes as relevant or not to the study interventions. Clear communication with investigators and education of research personnel on the use and interpretation of pathology endpoints in animal models are critical to the success of any research program. The veterinary pathologist is underutilized in biomedical research due to many factors including misconceptions about high fiscal costs, lack of perceived value, limited recognition of their expertise, and the generally low number of veterinary pathologists currently employed in biomedical research. As members of the multidisciplinary research team, veterinary pathologists have an important role to educate scientists, ensure accurate interpretation of pathology data, maximize rigor, and ensure reproducibility to provide the most reliable data for animal models in biomedical research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-265
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • animal models
  • biomedical research
  • gene editing
  • genetically engineered mice
  • one health
  • one medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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