School of Veterinary Medicine

Comparative Pathology Lab

Forms and Submissions


What the Comparative Pathology Lab does...

The mission of the Comparative Pathology Laboratory (CPL) is to provide laboratory animal biologists and basic discovery researchers the highest quality analytical data related to the health of their colony subjects, and projects requiring pre-clinical analysis. If you are in the business of managing research lab animal colonies, especially rodent species, we have a team that can address your questions regarding health monitoring, environment & equipment monitoring, phenotyping of custom bred strains, pathology services, clinical chemistry & hematology analysis related to compound discovery and efficacy.

The Comparative Pathology Laboratory provides gross necropsy and histopathology services tailored for the diagnosis of spontaneous or infectious diseases in laboratory animals. We offer consultation on management and control strategies, and we field questions regarding the use of animal models in the study of human diseases. Consultation on experimental pathology procedures, such as post-mortem sample harvest or organ fixation can also be provided.

CPL also serves the UC Davis campus as the research animal diagnostic laboratory. We regularly perform clinical chemistry, hematology, microbiology cultures and parasitology monitoring related to the health and well-being of veterinary research species.

We take pride in our personal involvement with your projects, and with our deep levels of experience in management of vivaria and pre-clinical research analysis. We are a resource for many types of organizations: We serve not only most of the University of California (UC) campuses, but also nationwide academic organizations and commercial biotechnology. We often engage in analysis related to compound exposure, toxicity, vehicle effectiveness, medical device development, stem cell culture management and characterizations of novel rodent strains.

Dr. Denise M. Imai-Leonard, DVM, PhD, DACVP, CPL Director

Staff and Training

The CPL staff consists of Comparative Medicine veterinary pathologists, veterinarians, licensed clinical laboratory scientists, UC Davis staff research associates, hospital laboratory technologists, accounting staff and administrative staff. In addition, The CPL is a regular rotation in the training of 4th year students, Laboratory Animal Medicine and Pathology residents from The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. UC Davis graduate and undergraduate students, and other academic institutions regularly participate in internships. Our Director, Dr. Denise M. Imai-Leonard, is a Health Sciences Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Facilities and Services

The CPL is located in the UC Davis South Campus, at 1000 Old Davis Road. The main laboratory is in Building R-1. Functional areas include separate analytical units for Serology, Molecular Diagnostics, Microbiology, Parasitology, Chemistry and Hematology. In Building R-2, there are two large Necropsy rooms with downdraft tables and photographic equipment for recording anatomic areas of interest. In addition, there are separate buildings for administrative offices, records and sample archives, a conference area and gowning facilities. For research and teaching purposes, we feature multiheaded microscopy and photographic capabilities. Our advanced photomicroscopy capabilities allow us to digitalize images, anotate and perform colocolization analysis of histological tissue preparations.

Pathology of Laboratory Rodents and Rabbits

Co-authored by the Comparative Pathology Laboratory's retired director Stephen Griffey

Pathology of Laboratory Rodents and Rabbits

Now in its fourth edition, Pathology of Laboratory Rodents and Rabbits has become a standard text for veterinary pathologists, laboratory animal veterinarians, students, and others interested in these species.

  • The standard reference on the pathogenesis and cardinal diagnostic features of diseases of mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, and rabbits
  • Expanded coverage of rabbit disease, normal anatomic features, and biology
  • Over 450 color photographs illustrating gross and microscopic pathology
  • Companion website offering images from the text in PowerPoint