Mice are a preferred mammalian disease model because of their high genetic homology with humans, rapid reproduction, efficient and inexpensive housing and husbandry, easily characterized phenotypes, and well-developed resources and tools for genetic manipulation. Despite introductions of other vertebrate animal models, mice still represent the number one research choice as disease models. With the advent of precision medicine the benefits of innovative mouse-based research and validation studies will continue to grow.

To further these developments, the Mouse Biology Program (MBP) in partnership with the internationally recognized Center for Genomic Pathology has developed a series of online courses in mouse biology and pathology designed to provide graduate and post-doctoral students, research assistants, animal care technicians and undergraduate students a guide to the use of laboratory mice in biomedical research. The goal of these courses is to provide foundational knowledge and skills to accurately identify patterns of disease in mouse models.  These courses are offered online and are free of charge and self-paced.

To enroll, simply create an account on our educational portal site at and start your learning!

Mouse Pathobiology Courses

TIER 1: Foundations of Mouse Pathobiology

Student qualifications: Suitable for graduate and undergraduate students, research assistants and associates, senior researchers, post-doctoral fellows, and all technical laboratory personnel.

Course organization and content:  Mouse Husbandry and Biology (Mouse Pathology Part A): Gain foundational knowledge in the handling and use of the research mouse, along with normal mouse biology and general pathology. Topics include history of the laboratory mouse, mouse husbandry, regulations and laboratory accreditation, normal gross anatomy, normal mouse histology and general pathology. Mouse Pathobiology (Mouse Pathology Part B): Gain a comprehensive introduction to the pathobiology of the genetically-engineered mouse, with emphasis on correlation of microscopic findings to clinical and gross observations. Topics include gross and microscopic patterns of disease, basics of necropsy, gene insertion and removal, basic pathology, immunology and reproductive physiology, and toxicological pathology. Also covers experimental design and the responsible use of mouse models in research.

TIER 2: Mouse Models for Cancer Research 

Student qualifications: Suitable for principal investigators, senior academic and professional researchers,  and advanced technical laboratory.

Course organization and content: The Mouse as a Model for Mammary Gland Cancer (BIOSCI 580): This course provides background information necessary to function in mammary tumor biology. It includes case examples and interactive conferences and is designed for the trained scientist (Ph.D., M.D., D.V.M.) with exposure to but limited training in comparative pathology and the use of genetically engineered mice to model human mammary disease.