Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Mouse Histology and Phenotyping Laboratory


The mission of the Northwestern University Mouse Histology & Phenotyping Laboratory (MHPL) is to assist investigators with tissue histopathology for experimental animal research. The laboratory provides comprehensive histology services for all rodent species (i.e., mouse, rat, etc.) which includes necropsy, phenotyping of organs and tissues, dissection and tissue processing, and one-on-one consultation with investigators. The lab generates unstained paraffin and frozen sections for investigators to be used for special staining and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Pathologist consultation can also be provided to help develop strategies to elucidate phenotypes and gain mechanistic insight regarding the biologic actions of the targeted molecule or the toxicity of exogenously administered substances. In addition, the laboratory provides training opportunities for learning histology techniques and phenotyping analysis.

Services Offered

  • Necropsy and tissue collection
  • Gross exam with report
  • Histopathology (slide interpretation)
  • Histopathology toxicity evaluation
  • Photo documentation of histopathology
  • Training in necropsy techniques including perfusion of mice and special tissue dissection
  • Phenotype screening (complete necropsy and histopathology of mutant mice)
  • Assistance with development of animal pathology protocols
  • Immunohistochemistry (IHC) – Using tyramide signal amplification (TSA) and ABC methods (automated), with DAB chromogenic substrate.
  • Immunofluorescence (IF)- Single and multiple staining
  • TUNEL assay
  • Freezing and embedding of tissues for histology
  • Frozen sections
  • Paraffin block processing and Paraffin sections
  • Hematoxylin and Eosin staining of sections
  • Specialized histochemical staining of sections (e.g. Trichrome, PAS, Luxol fast blue, Cresyl violet, and many other stains)

Members of the Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center who require additional guidance with their projects have priority access to one-on-one consultation with Dr. Craig Horbinski, a board-certified anatomic pathologist and neuropathologist who specializes in cancer research, including animal models of cancer. Specific time for such consultations is reserved every Friday between 10-12 am in Dr. Horbinski’s office, Tarry 2-705. Appointments at other times are also available; please contact Dr. Horbinski directly at 312-503-6127 or by email at


All manuscripts and grants presenting work supported by this core should include the following acknowledgement:

"Histology services were provided by the Northwestern University Mouse Histology and Phenotyping Laboratory which is supported by NCI P30-CA060553 awarded to the Robert H Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center."


MHPL Home Page

Hours of Operation:

Mon-Fri 9:00am-5:00pm


General Contact  
(312) 503-2679 (Histology)
(312) 503-2695 (Phenotype & IHC)
(312) 503-2369 (FAX)

Lin Li, MD, MS  
Associate Director
(312) 503-2695

Craig Horbinski, MD, PhD  


Olson Pavilion 8-333
710 North Fairbanks Court
Chicago, IL 60611