This site is intended as a self-tutorial on the basics of histology, the study of tissues and cell types. Histology is in a very real sense "physiology made visible."

Introduction to the Material


The main section contains practical study exercises. These were developed over many years of teaching in both veterinary and human medical schools. Many images of the material have already been embedded into the software, so that it serves as a sort of on-line histology textbook. In addition to the embedded images you'll find that the exercises make reference to "slide numbers" throughout their text. In order to view these slides you'll need to have a high-speed connection to the Internet.

A word about the origins and application of these exercises is in order. Because I taught so many years in veterinary schools a lot of the references (especially in the "Case Vignettes") are veterinary in nature, but that makes no difference in the context of human medicine. In the microscope everyone looks alike! The few species differences that exist and are discussed (principally in the ruminant and avian digestive system and the avian respiratory system) can be ignored if you're studying human medicine. Everything else is the same. In fact, nearly all of the slides used in teaching histology in medical schools use animal material, for a very simple reason: it's easy to get. Human tissue is very hard to obtain and when you do find it, it's almost always pathological or deteriorated by post-mortem change. Animal tissues can be collected properly and exemplify the structures far more accurately.


Pre-recorded lectures, essentially narrated Power Point presentations, are also available. Most of the exercises have embedded links to these videos. To view these you will need to use a program that plays MP4 videos. If you don't already have this capability I highly recommend a free program called VLC Media Player, a free download.

Clicking on a link to a presentation will open the recordings and you will hear a voice-over as the slides change. Please note that some exercises have several recordings. These videos vary in length. Some are short others fairly long; but since they're sometimes big files, give them time to download to your computer!


Throughout the exercise reference is made to slide numbers, those of the images in the collections used to make the images. Several different numbering schemes were used to assemble these collections, so there isn't really any rationality to the numbering "system." I hope in time to make these slides directly accessible using "Virtual Microscopy," so that you can examine directly but server space and processor speed are substantial issues because VM files are very large. Keep coming back; they'll be available some day.