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The Division of Pathology provides support to Yerkes researchers and the larger Emory community as well as external investigators and collaborators. The Pathology faculty contributes to colony health surveillance by providing diagnostic support to the Animal Resources Division. As part of its mission, the Division of Pathology promotes an open exchange of ideas, interdepartmental and interdisciplinary collaborations, the establishment and refinement of animal models of human disease and the support of projects from external collaborators in need of nonhuman primate (NHP) experimentation. The Yerkes pathologists and technical staff provide investigators assistance in protocol development, disease diagnosis and specimen collections. In addition, Pathology faculty is actively involved in training residents, veterinary students, veterinary pathologists and research scientists in the field of NHP pathology. The Pathology Division participates in virtually all of the education and training programs the Yerkes Research Center and Emory University School of Medicine offer.

Yerkes-based pathologists conduct research focused on infectious diseases, including AIDS pathology, immunotherapy in the context of HIV infection, tuberculosis (TB), rectal microbicides, influenza and Zika virus infections, malaria, babesiosis, zoonotic viruses in natural host species (nonhuman primates and bats), stroke and neurodegenerative diseases.

Service Units

The Pathology Division encompasses all aspects of diagnostic pathology and is composed of these major units: Anatomic Pathology (includes the Necropsy/Gross Pathology and Histopathology/Electron Microscopy Laboratories), Clinical Pathology, Molecular Pathology, Biological Material Procurement and Biological Material Shipping. 

   Necropsy/Gross Pathology

This unit provides basic pathology support services including routine (diagnostic) necropsies for colony animals and the much more extensive experimental necropsies for numerous research protocols.  The routine necropsies consist of complete gross examinations and histological examination.

   Histopathology/Electron Microscopy Laboratory

This lab provides histopathology and electron microscopy services for Yerkes, all laboratory animals the Emory School of Medicine maintains, other Emory investigators as well as investigators from other institutions. Services include tissue processing, paraffin blocks processing and embedding, slide preparation, coverslipping, routine and special staining, electron microscopy and other to fulfill the requests of investigators. Dr. Sanjeev Gumber is the lab director.

   Clinical Pathology Laboratory

This lab provides reliable, timely, accurate and cost-effective services for clinical and experimental support to the Yerkes Research Center as well as Emory investigators and researchers at other institutions across the United States. Services include hematology, parasitology, microbiology, flow cytometry, Urinalysis, routine and specialized clinical chemistry, and coagulation profiles. Dr. Chris Pinelli provides oversight to the Clinical Pathology Laboratory.

   Molecular Pathology Core

The Molecular Pathology Core provides research and diagnostic support to researchers and veterinary pathologists at Yerkes, Emory and other institutions across the United States. Services include immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization assays for various nonhuman primate pathogens, including viruses and bacteria, and cell markers. Core staff members also help researchers design research protocols to incorporate these molecular pathology techniques. Dr. Sanjeev Gumber is the core director.

   Biological Material Procurement

This Yerkes service is an important resource to investigators worldwide because of the nonhuman primate tissues and biological materials we collect and distribute for scientific and biomedical research purposes. We collect and prepare samples according to investigators’ specific needs. For more information about this valuable resource, please contact

   Biological Material Shipping

Yerkes provides biological material shipping services for our Center's researchers as well as researchers who have NIH-funded research programs and companies who conduct biomedical research. We have IATA-certified research technicians on site who are authorized to ship biological and hazardous (infectious) samples. For more information about this resource, please contact

Comparative Pathology Externships

Yerkes' Division of Pathology offers two- to 10-week externships in Comparative Pathology to veterinary students entering their 3rd or 4th year. Two types of externships are available:

1) Harold McClure Veterinary Pathology Extern Scholarship, which is awarded to one to two students per year. This externship provides a generous stipend for training periods of at least four weeks.

2) Shorter externships are available on a case-by-case basis. While these do not offer a stipend, funds may be available through the ACVP Externship Scholarship program.

Both externship programs are designed to provide exposure to all aspects of Yerkes' nonhuman primate and rodent caseloads, including opportunities to perform necropsies and microscopic evaluations on nonhuman primates and rodents, rotate through Yerkes' on-site histology and clinical pathology laboratories, and assume responsibility for histopathology on at least one case. Fall externships include attendance at the Yerkes resident training course, “Laboratory Animal Pathology.”

Externs will work closely with ACVP-certified pathologists, have access to laboratory animal veterinarians and opportunities to use Yerkes' specialized laboratory animal pathology library when preparing papers and presentations. Opportunities to shadow a clinical veterinarian are also available. Attendance at Yerkes combined medicine and pathology rounds, multi-institutional pathology rounds and NPRC Virtual Slide Conference is prioritized. Externs are required to give a short presentation at the conclusion of their training.

Interested students should contact Chris Pinelli, DVM, PhD, DACVP, at or 404-712-9329.

To apply, please provide your CV, letter of intent, including your professional goals and previous pathology experience, veterinary school transcript and the name of two educational/professional references. Also, both externship programs require a letter from each applicant's home institution that gives approval for the student to participate and confirms the student is covered by the institution’s liability insurance.

Division Faculty