Contemplated herein is an automated microscope slide antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method that features a plurality of individually operable miniaturized pressurizable reaction compartments for individually and independently processing a plurality of individual microscope slides. The apparatus preferably features independently movable slide support elements each having an individually heatable heating plate. Each slide support element preferably supports a single microscope slide. Each microscope slide can be enclosed within an individual pressurizable reaction compartment. Pressures exceeding 1 atm or below 1 atm can be created and maintained in the reaction compartment prior to, during or after heating of the slide begins. Because of the ability to pressurize and regulate pressure within the reaction compartment, and to individually heat each slide, each slide and a liquid solution or reagent thereon can be heated to temperatures that could not be obtained without the enclosed pressurized environment of the reaction compartment. A reagent dispensing strip having a plurality of reconfigurable reagent modules may also be used.