The Preclinical Models Core in the San Diego Digestive Diseases Research Center will provide access to animal models of gastrointestinal and liver disease for preclinical studies and will assist in characterizing disease activity prospectively and retrospectively in a comprehensive and uniform manner. The Core emanated out of core services provided by a past NIDDK-funded (R24) Mini-Center at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The approach to create the Preclinical Models Core is based on information from surveys of Center member needs, experience with the prior Mini-Center at UCSD, the broad expertise of Center members in digestive diseases research, and the insights of several of the Center members who have served as advisors or in leadership roles for other Silvio O. Conte Centers. The Core will provide resources in veterinary sciences and a technical infrastructure that enables animals to be studied comprehensively. The services will include consultation on the selection and interpretation of animal models of digestive diseases, ante-mortem imaging and post-mortem examination, including the development and interpretation of scoring systems by veterinarians trained in comparative pathology. Thus, the Core will truly be ?preclinical? in that it will be modeling and evaluating disease with instrumentation also used in patients with the added advantage of the controlled manipulations that are possible in these models. The Core will be led by two experienced leaders with strong track records in applying animal models to basic and preclinical questions: Dr. Peter Ernst, a PhD veterinarian with extensive experience in managing Core facilities, will be the Core Director and focus on murine models of gastrointestinal disease and in vivo imaging. As the Core Co-Director, Dr. Tatiana Kisseleva will provide her extensive experience with animal models of liver disease. Furthermore, the Core will interact with and directly complement the Human Translational and Microbiomics and Functional Genomics Cores by being able to relate the imaging results, biomarkers and clinical data to specific outcomes in animal models and human disease. Thus, the Preclinical Models Core will benefit the investigators in the Center by providing reliable, cost-effective services that are coordinated with the investigators? research and other Cores to facilitate and advance research related to the gastrointestinal tract and liver.