Robert D. Cardiff, MD, PhD

Distinguished Professor
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Center for Genomic Pathology
University of California, Davis
County Rd. 98 & Hutchison Dr.
Davis, CA 95616
Phone: (530) 752-0332
Fax: (530) 752-7914

Research Interests

Comparative Pathology
Comparative Oncology
Collexis Research Profiles

Dr. Cardiff is an academic surgical pathologist who received his bachelor’s degree (Entomology) and Ph.D. (Zoology) from UC Berkeley and his MD degree from UCSF. His pathology training was at Univ. Oregon, Portland. He has been at University of California, Davis since 1971 where he is a Distinguished Professor and was the Chair of the Department of Pathology from 1990 to 1996, Founding Director of the UCD Center for Medical Informatics and is currently the Director of the UCD Center for Comparative Medicine’s Mouse Biology Program Mutant Mouse Pathology Facility (MMPF). His research interests have focused on experimental pathology of mouse tumorigenesis. As director of the MMPF, he has developed an archive of samples from over 25,000 mutant mice from over 200 laboratories from 15 countries. This extensive collection serves as a basis for many of his current studies and provides him a unique niche in science as one of the few surgical pathologists in the world who combines a knowledge of R01 funded research, human pathology and mouse tumor pathology. He holds a “Leadership” grant with the NCI Mouse Models of Human Cancers Consortium. He is the founder and Director of the Center for Genomic Pathology which is devoted to education in comparative pathology. He is the Team Leader for Pathology and Biospecimens for the UC-Wide ATHENA Breast Cancer Research Program. His current research emphasizes mouse models of mammary precancer. Most recently, he has focused attention of the scientific community on the need for comparative pathologists with training required for evaluation of the pending plethora of genetically modified mice. His essays on One Medicine and Genomic Pathology represent an important call-to-arms.

Mutant Mouse Pathology Laboratory

Dr. Cardiff’s laboratory provides comprehensive histopathology services to over 200 investigators in over 200 laboratories in 15 countries.  The archive includes blocks and slides from over 18,000 cases representing 200 types of genetically engineered mice, and is a unique research and training resource that is unparalleled in the world. The comparative studies have provided unique insights into the molecular and functional genomics of cancer.  The comparison of structure and function has led to the recognition that genetically engineered mice have unique forms of cancer.  Each gene produces a characteristic, and frequently unique, type of cancer.  Many of these cancers closely resemble human cancers.  Cancers of the breast, white blood cells, skin, lung, salivary gland, prostate, bone, liver, and mesenchyme have been studied. Studies done in this facility with collaborators have resulted in over 70 papers since 1990.

Transgenic Mouse Tumor Biology

Studies based on murine models have involved molecular biology, transplantation biology, tumor biology, immunohistochemistry, light microscopy, in-situ hybridization, special histochemistry, image analysis and morphometrics.  Recent studies have concentrated on angiogenesis and transgene expression. Current studies emphasize the early phases of tumor development using tissue transplantation. The research team has developed the first transgenic mouse model of precancer of the human breast.

Web Education

Dr. Cardiff is active in BioInformatics participating in the development of the computer networks and websites for the CCM and the UCD Mouse Biology Program. Dr. Cardiff’s web sites provide many useful educational and scientific resources designed to assist the student and the investigator to understand the biology and histopathology of their organ system. Some useful URLs:

Selected Publications

Cardiff RD, Ward JM, Barthold SW. 'One medicine---one pathology': are veterinary and human pathology prepared? Lab Invest 2008;88(1):18-26.

Valli T, Barthold SW, Ward JE, et al. Over 60% of NIH extramural funding involves animal-related research. Vet Pathol 2007;44(6):962-3, author reply 3-4.

Cardiff RD. Epilog: comparative medicine, one medicine and genomic pathology. Breast disease 2007;28:107-10.

Cardiff RD. Pathologists needed to cope with mutant mice. Nature 2007;447(7144):528.

Cardiff R, Altrock B. Too Many Mice, Too Few Pathologists. . GEN 2007;27:609.

Barthold SW, Borowsky AD, Brayton C, et al. From whence will they come? - A perspective on the acute shortage of pathologists in biomedical research. J Vet Diagn Invest 2007;19(4):455-6.

Professional Service

Director, UC Davis Mutant Mouse Pathology Laboratory       
President, International Association for Breast Cancer Research
Executive Committee, International Association for Breast Cancer Research
Editorial Boards: Toxicological Pathology and  Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia
Co-Chair, NCI Mouse Models of Human Cancers Consortium Phenotying Committee
Member, NCI Mouse Models of Human Cancers Consortium Steering Committee
Member, NCI Mouse Models of Human Cancers Consortium Committees of Informatics, Interventions, Prostate Cancer and Breast Cancer
Member, CMRP Breast Cancer Era of Hope Technical Planning Committee
UC Davis Comparative Pathology Graduate Group
UC Davis Genetics Graduate Group
UC Davis Health Informatics Graduate Group

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