Animal Histology Services (AHS)

Please do not submit orders for AHS via iLab.

AHS is located at the Comparative Medicine Pavilion (CMP), Room SR125.


**Submitting Samples**  

Sample drop-off/pick-up cart: Edwards Building (07-309) Room R322 (3rd floor).

Pick-up and drop-off days are daily for internal AHS submissions. 

NOTE: If submitting tissue cassettes, you must submit them in 70% ethanol in a tight-sealing, leak-proof container.


All requests must be accompanied by a completed Animal Histology Service Request Form.  


If you have questions about available services or sample submission (including request forms and price sheets) please contact us at


Overview of Services



Comparative Medicine's Animal Histology Services (AHS) provides a comprehensive range of histological research techniques that include:

  • Standard tissue processing and paraffin embedding
    • Standard and oversized specimens
  • Special orientation of tissues
    • Including orientation to match images from MRI, CT, and other modalities
    • Special consultation required
  • Serial sectioning, step sectioning, and sectioning of frozen specimens


In addition to routine hematoxylin and eosin staining (H&E) of tissue sections, we offer a variety of special stains to highlight specific cell types, cellular elements, tissue components, or infectious organisms. Additionally, we offer immunohistochemical / immunoperoxidase and apoptosis assays.


Details of services provided through AHS


Tissue processing ONLY

  • Tissue processing encompasses the preparation of previously fixed tissues for paraffin embedding. 
  • Tissue processing involves a series of dehydration, clearing, and paraffin (wax) embedding steps.
  • We offer a "processing only" service, which allows investigators to embed the processed tissues themselves so they can spatially orient the specimens in a way that best suits their specific experimental needs.


Tissue processing AND embedding

  • After the tissues are processed, they can be embedded in paraffin to make paraffin tissue blocks, that can then be sectioned with a microtome. 
  • We offer tissue processing and paraffin embedding services with the final result being a paraffin tissue block.
  • Additionally, we offer a variety of sectioning and staining services including: 1) the production of unstained slides, 2) routine H&E staining, 3) histochemical ("special") stains, and 4) immunohistochemistry / immunoperoxidase.  Please see the following sections for a brief explanation of these services.  


H&E staining

  • Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining is one of the principal and most widely used stains in histology and is generally regarded as the "gold standard" for evaluation of bright field histology specimens. 
  • Additionally, evaluation of H&E preparations is necessary for providing a context in which to adequately interpret observations made in other specialized staining techniques such as histochemical ("special") and immunohistochemical stains. 
  • We provide H&E staining for the tissues and slides we process, or as a stand-alone service (H&E only) on unstained slides of either paraffin-embedded or frozen sections. 


Re-cuts with or without staining

  • Once paraffin tissue blocks are made (see "Tissue processing and embedding" above), they can be sectioned with a microtome multiple times for a variety of purposes.
  • Some of the uses for re-cuts include: 1) production of unstained slides for staining at a later time, 2) routine H&E staining, and/or 3) other advanced staining techniques (histochemical "special" stains and/or immunohistochemistry).
  • We offer microtome sectioning services ("re-cuts") of paraffin blocks with or without additional staining, as well as serial and step sectioning. 


Histochemical ("special") stains

  • Histochemical ("special") stains aid in the visualization and/or identification of structures and/or substances in tissue sections. 
  • Different special stains can be used to identify cellular components (e.g. intra-cellular lipid, intercalated discs in cardiac cells), cellular accumulations (e.g. iron, copper), matrical and connective tissue elements (e.g. collagen, elastin), and infectious elements (e.g. fungi, bacteria, protozoa). 
  • Please consult with us for the most appropriate stain(s) for your experimental needs. 
  • We strongly recommend always doing a paired H&E-stained section (gold standard) to provide a context in which to interpret observations made in histochemical preparations. 



  • Immunohistochemistry is based on the principle of antibody binding, and is used to identify specific antigens and specific antigenic determinants (epitopes) in tissue sections.
  • Immunohistochemistry allows for identification and differentiation of specific cell types (e.g. smooth muscle cells, T-lymphocytes, endothelial cells), cellular components (e.g. mitochondria), and specific matrical and connective tissue elements (e.g. collagen IV). 
  • We offer antibody optimization and antibody staining services. 
  • We strongly recommend always doing a paired H&E-stained section (gold standard) to provide a context in which to interpret observations made in immunohistochemical preparations


Getting Started

Publication Acknowledgement

As with all Stanford Service Centers, credit must be given to the Comparative Medicine Animal Histology Services for data that results in a publication. If the work done at the Comparative Medicine Animal Histology Services produces data resulting in a figure in a publication, you are required to acknowledge the Comparative Medicine Animal Histology Services in the publication. Further, if the Comparative Medicine Animal Histology Services staff members provided significant experimental design, data interpretation, or other intellectual contribution (as evaluated by the PI), then it is expected that these individuals will be coauthors on the publication.

Per university policy regarding the shared services, investigators who use the Animal Histology Services (AHS) are to include the following verbiage in the their manuscript: “We thank the Stanford Animal Histology Services for help with preparation of histologic specimens.”

Alternatively, investigators can identify a specific AHS staff member by name: “ We thank _______ [name of person] in the Stanford Animal Histology Services for help with preparation of histologic specimens.”




Eric Peterson
Manager, AHS
Phone: 650-497-3901


Dr. José G. Vilches-Moure
Veterinary Pathologist
Director, AHS
Phone: 650-723-8680


Anne Lum
Associate Director of Finance and Administration
Phone: 650-498-5254


Core Staff

 Eric Peterson  650.497.3901    

Location and hours of operation

Hours Location


8 am to 5 pm


1230 Welch Road

Stanford, CA, 94305

*The hours of operation are 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday through Friday (unless otherwise specified). 

Links and Resources



Name Role Phone Email Location
Anne Lum
Assoc DFA, Dir Academic and Business Ops
Edwards R321
Eric Peterson
Histotechnologist, AHS Manager