Updated at: 06/12/2013 at 10:29 am
The Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience at the University of Melbourne houses research facilities including:
- Animal Histopathology and Organ Pathology service
- A well equipped histology laboratory
- Confocal fluorescence and live cell imaging microscopes,
- Laser Dissection System and
- Cell and Tissue Culture
- High throughput brightfield and multicoloured fluorescent slide scanners
“But it’s not just about the technology. A lot of what we offer lies in the expertise of our people,” says Manager of the Histopathology and Organ Pathology Service, Tina Cardamone.
Tina herself has more than 20 years’ experience in medical diagnostic labs. A lot of her job is overseeing and evaluating method to ‘identify true deviation from normal’ in experimental mice while minimising artefact and optimising tissue architecture visualisation’ so that any mild to marked changes in tissue can be identified.
“We provide necropsy and histopathology services to all biomedical researchers across Australia for the evaluation and phenotyping of modified or genetically engineered mice at all developmental stages. I believe it’s the only service of its kind in Australia,” said Tina.
“We have a team of experienced medical, veterinary pathologists and mouse pathobiologists who are able to determine whether any changes or pathology identified is strain related, age related, incidental or a true deviation from normal.”
In 2008, the department purchased a high throughput brightfield digital slide scanner and in May 2013, purchased a multicoloured fluorescence digital slide scanner capable of producing high quality, digitised whole slide images. The Histopathology service offers a laboratory-to-desktop interrogation of images and reports using a web based file sharing system.
“Some of the organs we evaluate include the reproductive organs, gastrointestinal ,respiratory and urinary systems, sense organs, nervous system, endocrine organs, integumentary system and the hematopoietic/lymphopoietic sytems. The animal is assessed from ‘top to tail’.
“By communicating with the lead researcher at the beginning of each project, the service is able to customise the evaluation and provide the best possible approach to meet the needs of the researcher,” said Tina.
The service is part of the Australian Phenomics Network that brings together mouse production, strain storage, pathology capabilities and RNAi /genomics services.