For this week’s provider profile we caught up with Dr. Tamas Nagy, the Director of the Comparative Pathology Laboratory. Read all about his unique path to veterinary pathology, and that one time he did histopathology on an amorphous material found on a commercial refrigeration line.
What is the history of the Comparative Pathology Laboratory – how did it come into existence?
The Comparative Pathology Laboratory was established in 2008. I, Dr. Tamas Nagy, was appointed to the faculty at the University of Georgia (UGA) in 2007 and was given the task to establish a research pathology service for investigators who use laboratory animals in their research. I was uniquely qualified to head such a service. I received my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Veterinary Science in Budapest, Hungary in 1994. After pursuing research in renal physiology at Yale Medical School in New Haven, CT, I joined the veterinary anatomical pathology residency at Cornell’s Veterinary College in Ithaca, NY and later enrolled in the PhD program there to study genetically engineered mice. I received my PhD in 2008 and attained board certification by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in 2011.
What kind of services does the Comparative Pathology Laboratory provide?
The Comparative Pathology Laboratory provides comprehensive research pathology services for biomedical investigators. In order to help scientists with the complex task of evaluation of animal tissues, we offer necropsy, histological processing, and, more importantly, histopathological evaluation and photography of histological lesions. Often researchers fail to realize that histological evaluation of animal tissues requires formal training in veterinary medicine and veterinary pathology; a skill that cannot be simply learned as an autodidact from scientific journals.
We also offer training in basic rodent necropsy techniques, so research labs can train their incoming students and postdocs, to ensure that necropsies are performed in a standardized fashion and a standard set of tissues are collected every time.
Our services are available for biotech companies, contract research organizations, and pharmaceutical companies as well. To accommodate these industrial clients, we offer R&D/Preclinical and GLP level histopathology as well.
What does the Comparative Pathology Laboratory specialize in?
Our main specialty is rodent histopathology, including phenotyping of genetically engineered mice.
How did you get into veterinary pathology?
My mentor, Dr. Peter Aronson at Yale recommended not to abandon my veterinary profession in the process of becoming a research scientist. Veterinary pathology was a field where I could use my veterinary knowledge to work with animal models of human diseases.
What can a veterinary pathologist offer that a locally available pathologist cannot?
Laboratory animal pathology is a unique field that requires didactic training in veterinary medicine and veterinary pathology and also requires an interest and training in laboratory animals. Most veterinary pathologists provide diagnostic pathology services in veterinary colleges and veterinary diagnostic laboratories. It would be an extra burden for them to provide laboratory animal pathology services for biomedical investigators. Human pathologists, unless they have training in comparative pathology, usually are not aware of the laboratory animal-specific common background lesions or the unique responses of these laboratory species to pathogens.
What is the most unique project you’ve worked on at the Comparative Pathology Laboratory?
Usually the projects we receive are straightforward and involve histopathologic evaluation of various organs from laboratory animals. Once I was asked to examine an amorphous material that was found attached to a commercial refrigeration line. The client wanted to know if the material was from an animal or not. The material was beige in color and felt like synthetic clay. Histologically it was found to be of proteinaceous in nature, but not of animal in origin.
How has Science Exchange changed the way you receive projects?
Since my lab has been listed on Science Exchange, I received a lot of inquires about our services. Being listed on Science Exchange also helps advertise our services. Billing clients is much easier through Science Exchange, as well. Finally, going through Science Exchange makes drawing up confidentiality agreements easier as well.