About the Geropathology Research Network

About the Geropathology Research Network:

The Geropathology Research Network has been established with a grant from the National Institute of Aging to enhance the translational value of geropathology for preclinical research studies in anti-aging clinical trials.

Our network consists of an interdisciplinary team of pathologists and scientists with expertise in the comparative pathology of aging, research study design of aging studies, biostatistical methods of correlating aging data, and bioinformatics for compiling and annotating large sets of data generated from aging studies.

The primary goal of the Geropathology Research Network is to increase the scope of consistency and communication in the pathologic assessment of tissues from old mice, other preclinical animal models, and humans involved in aging studies.

This work is funded by R24 AG047115 (Ladiges, PI) from the National Institute on Aging, NIH.

Our Team

Warren Ladiges, D.V.M., M.S., DACLAM

Dr. Ladiges has had continuous NIH funding over the last 25 years to investigate molecular mechanisms of chronic age-related diseases. He has utilized gene technology to develop a large number of mouse lines with specific insertion or deletion mutations as preclinical models of aging and response to therapeutic compounds. His current interests are the investigation of the underlying pathology of aging using an anatomic and molecular approach in mammalian model systems.

Marcia Ciol, Ph.D.

Marcia PortraitMarcia Ciol is a  Ph.D. Biostatistician with 25 years of experience working in medical and health services research.  She has worked in various types of studies, from surveys, to analysis of large databases, to clinical trials.  Her current main interests are in aging-related research, especially falls in older adults and mobility disability in older adults.

Yuji Ikeno, M.D., Ph.D.

Over the past 20 years, Dr. Ikeno have been directly responsible for the pathological analyses of all animals studied in multiple Program Projects and the San Antonio Nathan Shock Aging Center. In addition to pathological analyses of aging animals, he also has multiple research projects that seek the underlying mechanisms of aging. The primary goal of his research is to test whether changes in oxidative stress and redox status in the cell attenuate aging and age-related pathology, e.g., cancer, obesity, and type-2 diabetes, using unique animal models with altered levels of various antioxidant enzymes, e.g., thioredoxin transgenic/knockout mice, Cu/ZnSOD transgenic rats.

Denise M. Imai, D.V.M, Ph.D., DACVP

Denise-ImaiDr. Imai is the Senior Pathologist at the Comparative Pathology Laboratory (CPL) and an Assistant Health Sciences Clinical Professor in the UC Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. She is a board-certified veterinary anatomic pathologist focused on providing consistent and responsive pathology support. The CPL acts as both as a diagnostic laboratory and a pathology core for the University of California system, other academic institutions, commercial and non-profit biotechnology companies and the NIH-funded Knockout Mouse Project. Core services include rodent health surveillance, clinical disease diagnostics, experimental pathology analyses, and mutant mouse phenotyping. As a member of this core, Dr. Imai has been involved in three large scale diet-manipulated rodent aging studies.

Denny Liggitt, D.V.M., Ph.D., DACVP

Denny-LiggittDr. Liggitt, D.V.M, Ph.D.  is a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Comparative Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington (UW), Seattle.  This Department has both academic and service missions and is one of the largest of its type in the US.  Dr. Liggitt is a board-certified comparative pathologist who also serves as an advisor to the UW Institute of Translational Health Sciences as well as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and other public and private entities.  He is an authority in the development and evaluation of models of human diseases and has published more than 180 scientific papers in this and related areas.  He has a deep background in the histopathologic evaluation of mouse models with particular expertise in the use of these models and associated systems for the pre-clinical development of drugs, biologics and devices.  He has been involved in fostering several biotech companies and helping to translate several discoveries into the clinic.


Kent Lloyd, D.V.M, Ph.D.

Lloyd-pictureDr. Lloyd has a broad background in mouse biology and genetics, with specific training and expertise in transgenic and knockout production as well as broad-spectrum physiological phenotyping. His research emphasizes the application of mouse biology, genetics, stem cells, and reproductive physiology to address and resolve biological questions.  He serves as Director of the UC Davis Mouse Biology Program (MBP), overseeing the development, manipulation, and study of transgenic and genetically-altered mutant mice. He also serves as Principal Investigator (PI) and Project Director (PD) for the Knockout Mouse Project (KOMP), the Mutant Mouse Regional Resource Center (MMRRC), the Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center (MMPC), and the Mouse Biology Shared Resource for the NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center at UC Davis.

Rick McIndoe, Ph.D.

Dr.-Richard-A.-McIndoe-web-250x184Dr. McIndoe has extensive industrial and academic experience building and maintaining high throughput molecular facilities as well as designing and creating workflow systems. He is the Associate Director of the Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine and Professor of Pathology at the Medical College of Georgia Augusta University. Dr. McIndoe has extensive experience in coordinating large scale informatics initiatives and working within the auspices of multicenter consortia. He is the Director of the Coordinating and Bioinformatics Unit of the NIDDK Diabetic Complications Consortium (www.diacomp.org) and Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Centers (www.mmpc.org) (PI), Director of Bioinformatics for the local (GA/FL) TEDDY program and was a member of the Bioinformatics subcommittees for the International Type I Diabetes Genetics Consortium (T1DGC), both of which are international consortium to assess genetic and environmental triggers for T1D.

Laura Niedernhofer M.D., Ph.D.

lauraDr. Niedernhofer M.D., Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Metabolism and Aging at Scripps Florida since July 2012. Laura has a Bachelor of Sciences in Chemistry from Duke University and completed the Medical Scientist Training Program at Vanderbilt University earning her Ph.D. in Biochemistry. She followed this with post-doctoral training in mouse genetics at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She began her independent career in the University of Pittsburgh Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Her area of expertise is DNA damage and repair. Dr. Niedernhofer’s current research program is focused on discovering the mechanism by which DNA damage contributes to aging and age-related diseases including cancer. She primarily works in murine models of human genome instability disorders and has a drug discovery program aimed at extending healthy aging. She has been awarded the Hillman Family Foundation and PNC Bank for innovative cancer research and the Hart Family Foundation award for her advocacy work. Dr. Niedernhofer was an Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging, an Outstanding New Environmental Scientist with NIEHS, and elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation for her translational research.

Timothy Snider, D.V.M., Ph.D., DACVP

timothy_snider_001Dr. Snider is a 1996 graduate of the Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine.  Following three years of private mixed animal veterinary practice, he entered and completed an anatomic pathology residency program at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.  Dr. Snider became an ACVP board certified pathologist in 2004, followed shortly thereafter with his completion of a Ph.D. degree at Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine.  Dr. Snider is currently an Associate Professor in the Pathobiology Department.  His activities include teaching within multiple team-taught courses, supervising the Veterinary Diagnostics Senior rotation, and necropsy and biopsy services delivered via his appointment to the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.  His research program, largely collaborative, is focused on pathology of aging, infectious disease

pathology, and reproductive pathology.

John Erby Wilkinson, D.V.M., Ph.D., DACVP

Dr. Wilkinson’s primary research interest is in the comparative pathology of animal models of human disease, especially models of aging and cancer and their relationship. He is a D.V.M, Ph.D. and Diplomate of the ACVP and has been doing comparative/veterinary pathology for 30 years. Dr. Wilkinson started doing mostly mice in 1987 using mice from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and started using GEMMs in 1989. Since 2008, he has been the pathologist for the NIH/NIA Interventions Testing Program (ITP). In his role as Phenotyping Core Director and veterinary pathology for research animals at the University of Michigan (UM), he has had the opportunity to see a vast spectrum of aging and related pathology due to the strain effect, background lesions, and aging lesions in the mouse that can be confusing to a novice, with drug interventions likely to cause even more new pathology.

Smitha Pillai, M.V.Sc., Ph.D., DACVP

Dr. Pillai is a board certified veterinary anatomic pathologist (DACVP) with experience in comparative pathology of small and large animal models of diseases. She received her PhD in Veterinary Preventive medicine studying low pathogenic avian influenza viruses at the Ohio state university and completed anatomic pathology residency training at Cornell University. Before moving to Fred Hutch, she worked as Fellow in comparative pathology at the Memorial Sloan- Kettering cancer center in New York. Dr. Pillai has strong interests in animal models of diseases, including oncology, metabolic, autoimmune, inflammatory, degenerative and infectious diseases; toxicologic pathology; pathology training and teaching.