Dr. Bryan’s research focuses on comparative examination of cancers in companion animals to better understand cancers in all species. Bryan is an associate professor of veterinary oncology and director of the Comparative Oncology and Epigenetics Laboratory. His particular areas of interest are targeted imaging and therapy and epigenetics of cancer. Targeted imaging and therapy agents take advantage of particular properties of cancer to deliver an imaging or therapy payload to tumors. Bryan is leading research projects studying an immunotherapy agent targeted to the low-oxygen environment of cancer, an herbal derivative that targets iron in tumors, and a nanoparticle chemotherapy targeted to the lymphatic drainage of cancer. The agents under evaluation are destined for use in both dogs and humans to treat lymphomas as well as solid tumors like sarcomas, head and neck cancer, and breast cancer. Each of these trials is designed to develop an approach that is less toxic and more effective than our current cancer treatments. Epigenetics is the study of mechanisms that change expression of genes critical to cell growth without changing the DNA sequence by mutation. DNA methylation can cause the complete silencing of genes that act as brakes on cell division without any mutation to the gene itself. Unlike mutations, which are permanent changes to the DNA, methylation can be reversed, and the gene can function again, putting the brakes back on cell growth. Dr. Bryan and his team are investigating epigenetic causes and contributions to animal cancers to assist in identifying the most biologically relevant changes in human cancers by comparison.