Program in Comparative Animal Biology

Welcome to the Program in Comparative Animal Biology (PICAB)


The Program in Comparative Animal Biology (PICAB) is designed to familiarize CTSA investigators with, and ease their access to, natural models of human disease that exist in animal species.


The goals are to develop collaborations, build bridges, and connect investigators at the Veterinary and Medical schools to facilitate the effective use of animal disease models to advance translational sciences. The goal of the PICAB is to facilitate translation from basic science to clinical applications using animal diseases that are relevant to human medicine.  The PICAB interacts with two centers in the School of Veterinary Medicine, The Walter Flato Goodman Center for Comparative Medical Genetics (WFG-CCMG) and the Center for Host-Microbial Interactions (CHMI). The WFG-CCMG has extensive experience in identifying and characterizing monogenic diseases in dogs, cats and other domestic animal species.  The models have contributed significantly to improved understanding of the mechanisms of pathology and to the development of experimental therapies, including gene, stem cell, and recombinant protein based approaches. These models are much closer in size and complexity to humans than are mouse models, and the disease phenotype is often more similar to the human disease than in rodents, so provide excellent translational models for many human diseases. The CHMI is focused on approaches to understand how microbes (viruses, bacteria and parasites) influence animal health and disease, particularly transmission of disease between humans and animals (zoonoses).  Trials in animals may accelerate translation to human use when performed in diseases that reflect key features of the human syndrome. 


John H. Wolfe, VMD, PhD
Director, W.F. Goodman Center for Comparative Medical Genetics, School of Veterinary Medicine.
General inquiries to:

PICAB Key Personnel

The Walter Flato Goodman Center for Comparative Medical Genetics
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
3800 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6008

Director: John H. Wolfe, V.M.D., Ph.D.
Phone: 215-590-7030
Fax: 215-590-3779