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To integrate the pathology of rodents and other common laboratory animal species with basic science and systems biology, a Comparative Pathology Program (CPP) has been developed in the Department of Comparative Medicine (DCM) at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The CPP provides access to veterinarians who have a high level of training and understanding of whole animal biology and cross-species disease differences. Their specialty training in molecular disease pathogenesis and interpretation of lesions results in the improved development and characterization of animal models. Central to this is the integration of the pathology of comparative species with basic science research and systems biology to better understand complex disease processes and to translate these findings to human diseases.