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Joseph L. Bryant D.V.M., M.S.

Academic Title: Associate Professor
Primary Appointment: Pathology
Additional Title(s): Director, Animal Models Division, Institute of Human Virology
Location: Institute of Human Virology S107
Phone: (410-706-2758
Phone: 410-706-2754
Fax: 410-706-5664
Cell: 410-960-1848

Personal History:

Joseph L. Bryant, DVM, directs the IHV's Animal Model Division and Animal Core Facility. A board certified Laboratory Animal Veterinarian with a background in Comparative Medicine, Dr. Bryant's current research program is an extension of work begun at the National Institutes of Health, where he played a major role in developing a transgenic and gene Knockout Program.

His research team at the IHV has created the first transgenic rats whose DNA has been manipulated to incorporate genes of HIV-1. The rat model opens new areas of human HIV/AIDS study for scientists; its potential is enhanced by similarities in the structure of the rat genome with humans. Ongoing studies include the use of the transgenic rat as a model for HIV/drug abuse, HIV-associated skin diseases and HIV-associated neurological diseases.

Other research efforts focus on the mechanisms of human diseases caused by bacteria and viruses and on details of virus replication to develop better therapies and improved or new diagnostics. The current focus of this work is on the continual development of animal models for AIDS and AIDS-associated malignancies, such as Kaposi's sarcoma and B-cell lymphoma, as well as animal models for breast and prostate cancer. The most recent studies in the division involve the development of animal models of b-cell lymphoma as it relates to infectious causes i.e. mycoplasma fermentans, HIV-1 transgenic mouse model of b-cell lymphoma, and the use of natural plant extracts as anti-cancer agents. Currently, we are also working closely with groups from Jamaica and Nigeria. 

Research Interests:

The use of animals as models for human disease has been indispensable in understanding the causes, biology and prevention of disease; the Animal Models Division at the Institute of Human Virology has developed the following models for studying AIDS and AIDS-associated cancers:

  • Kaposi's Sarcoma mouse model 
  • HIV-1 transgenic mouse model for studying 
  • HIV-1 pathogenesis 
  • HIV-associated kidney disease (HIVAN) 
  • Wasting syndrome 
  • HIV-1 transgenic rat model for studying 
  • HIV-1 pathogenesis 
  • Organ Specific Pathology 
  • Kidney disease 
  • Heart disease 
  • Central & Peripheral Nervous System disease 
  • Skin disease  
  • Immunodeficient mouse models (NOD/SCID, CB17 SCID, Athymic Nude, and Beige Nude XID) for cancer studies
  • The SIV Non-human primate models for studying HIV-1 pathogenesis and for the development of HIV-1 vaccines

All of these models have and are playing a crucial role in understanding the pathogenesis of AIDS and various cancers with the ultimate intent of providing models for pre-clinical testing of new anti-HIV and anti-cancer drugs and treatment. The goal of the continuing development of the HIV transgenic rat model is to develop a small animal model that can be used for testing vaccines.

Clinical Speciality:

Board Certified in Laboratory Animal Medicine.

Lab Techniques and Equipment:

The Animal Core Facility is fully equipped to house and care for animals used in basic bio-medical research. We have over 20,000 square feet of space, and we have 3 laboratories for basic research.

Grants and Contracts:

A Model of Stem Cell-Based Treatment of HIV-Related Neurological Disease
The goal of this project is to evaluate the efficacy of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in suppressing nervous system abnormalities that can be observed with HIV infection.
Role: Co- PI

OPP1017606 (Bryant)
Gates Foundation
Phase I Clinical Trial of a Noval HIV Protein Construct that presents CD4 Induced Epitopes (Obj. 4)
The main goal of this project is to support a Phase I clinical trial of a novel HIV protein construct that presents CD4 induced epitopes.  This research will allow for clinical testing of FLSC evaluating immune response and safety in humans, and optimization of the prime-boost vaccination strategy.
Role: PI


  1. Royal W 3rd, Zhang L, Guo M., Jones O, Bryant JL, Immune activation, viral gene product expression and neurotoxicity in the HIV-1 transgenic rat. J Neuroimmunol. 2012 Jun 15;247 (1-2):16-24    PMCID: PMC3351529
  2. Guo M, Bryant J, Sultana S, Jones O, Royal W 3rd, Effects of vitamin A deficiency and opiods on parvalbumin + interneurons in the hippocampus of the HIV-1 transgenic rat. Curr HIV Res. 2012 Jul;10(5):463-8
  3. Lowe HI, Watson CT, Badal S, Toyang NJ, Bryant J, Kinase inhibition by the Jamaican ball moss, Tillandsia recurvate L. Anticancer Res. 2012 Oct;32(10):4419-22
  4. Lowe HI, Watson CT, Badal S, Toyang NJ, Bryant J, Cycloartane-3,24,25-triol inhibits MRCKa kinase and    demonstrates promising anti-prostate cancer activity in-vitro. Cancer Cell Int. 2012 Nov 14;12(1):46
  5. Curreli S, Krishnan S, Reitz M, Yanto LI, Lafferty MK, Garzino-Demo A, Zella D, Gallo RC, Bryant J, B cell lymphoma in hiv transgenic mice. Retrovirology. 2013 Aug 28;10(1):92
  6. Lowe HI, Toyang NJ, Heredia A, Watson CT, Bryant J, Anti HIV-1 Activity of the Crude Extracts of Guaiacum        officinale L. (Zygophyllaceae). European Journal of Medicinal Plants 2014 4(4): 483-489