John Sundberg, D.V.M., Ph.D., DACVP


Veterinary pathologist contributing to many aspects of disease research at JAX, with a research program focusing on genetic skin diseases.

There is an old saying that "pathology is the mother of medicine." Diseases, and more specifically the discipline of studying diseases (pathology), are why we have medicine and biomedical research. Correctly identifying a disease and the various processes each disease undergoes as it develops is the basis of most work done at The Jackson Laboratory.

While Dr. Sundberg semi-retired in 2019, closing his research laboratory that focused on genetic based skin diseases for over 40 years, he continues to work on several grants at The Jackson Laboratory and provides support for collaborators worldwide.

He currently works with Drs. Carol Bult and Dale Begley on the Mouse Models of Human Cancer Database. He provides photomicrographs of spontaneous and experimentally induced mouse cancers and continues to expand the immunohistochemistry spreadsheet with results of new antibodies constantly being optimized by our Histopathology Scientific Service on which he serves as the faculty advisor. Dr. Sundberg also works with Drs. Julia Oh and Anita Voigt on a UV light cutaneous carcinogenesis project.

Dr. Sundberg continues to actively teach the next generation of investigators and pathologists as the PI for an R13 meeting grant, Pathology of Mouse Models of Human Diseases, the 20th annual meeting of which will be held the end of September 2022. As an extension of this annual meeting, Drs. Sundberg, Peter Vogel (St. Jude), and Jerrold Ward (retired, NIH) recently completed a new book, Pathology of Genetically Engineered and Other Mice (Wiley), that will be published in January 2022. In addition, he is on the organizing committee and a regular lecturer in PATHBIO, a European Union international consortium running 3 annual meetings on anatomy and physiology, pathology, and imaging of mouse models throughout Europe. He also continues to sponsor visiting scientists who come to work with him directly to help them interpret results of their research.

Dr. Sundberg’s institutional service continues as the faculty advisor for the Histopathology Sciences Scientific Service. He works with Lesley Bechtold, the service manager, and her staff to support the management and quality control of the service. He regularly reviews slides to assure quality is maintained when new equipment is purchased and put online, often reviews immunohistochemistry slides and creates photomicrographic montages for the service website for new antibodies being optimized, and helps with training as needed.

Grants, awards and accomplishments


2008 ACVP Very Important Pathologists Program, member

2008 John Ebbling Lectureship, The European Hair Research Society 

2007 Distinguished Alumnus Award, Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine 

2006 Silver Fern Award, New Zealand Laboratory Animal Science Society 

1980 Gamma Sigma Delta (Honorary Society of Agriculture) 

1978 DuPont-Haskell Laboratories Fellowship in Veterinary Pathology 

1977 Phi Zeta (Honorary Veterinary Fraternity) 

1976 Phi Zeta Research Paper Award 

1975 Mead-Johnson Summer Fellowship in Veterinary Pathology 

1973 Animal Science Award 

1973 Elmer Towne Dairy Science Award 


1. NIH R01 AR049288. Cpdm: Cloning a Gene that Regulates Eosinophil Function. Principal Investigator. 

2. NIH R01 AR056635. Genetics of alopecia areata in the C3H/HeJ mouse. Principal Investigator. 

3. NIH/NCI R01 CA089713. Electronic Access to Mouse Tumor Data. Co-Investigator. 

4. NIH R01 AR055225. Model systems for PXE. Subcontract Principal Investigator. 

5. NIH R01 AR063702. Skeletal Phenotyping of KOMP Mice. Subcontract PI. 

6. NIH R13 OD010920. Pathology of the Laboratory Mouse. Principal Investigator. 

7. NIH R21 AR063781. Discovering Novel Gene Networks for Skin Diseases. Principal Investigator. 

8. DEBRA UK. Modeling the Genetics onf Epidermolysis Bullosa in Mice. Co-principal investigator. 


1. DEBRA International. (submitted 15 Sept 2014) 

2. NIH R01 Discovering Novel Gene Networks for Skin Diseases. Principal Investigator. (conversion of R21, to be submitted 5 Oct 2014). 

3. NIH R01 Genetic modifiers of junctional epidermolysis bullosa. Co-PI. (to be submitted 5 Feb 2015). Others currently under discussion potentially for 5 Oct 2014 deadline.