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A spoonful of honey helps the medicine go down

Anthropology professor and leading pollen expert Vaughn Bryant continues his work while battling cancer.

Chemotherapy isn’t enough to keep one Aggie from doing what he loves most.

Dr. Vaughan Bryant is a leading expert in the study of pollen and a professor at Texas A&M for nearly five decades.

For the past few weeks, Bryant has been receiving treatment at M.D. Anderson to fight his diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a cancer that affects the body’s ability to produce red blood cells. He hasn’t let the grueling chemotherapy treatment slow him down.

“I wanted to continue doing my research while I was locked up in a germ-free room for 30 days so I asked if I could have a microscope,” Bryant said in an email. “The doctors said that never in the history of the leukemia ward had any patient ever asked for the use of a microscope and it took them a few days to decide whether or not to let me have one.”

“Finally, they consented and as you can see in the picture, I have been working away on my research every day while in confinement,” he said.

While in isolation, Bryant has continued to teach his two online course and even gained a few new curious students.

“I don’t think they study pollen in medical school because the doctors and nurses are continually coming in here while I’m working on the microscope and wanting to see what I’m looking at,” Bryant told The Eagle. “It’s been a lot of fun and, in some ways, I’ve been able to have a group here I’m teaching about pollen.”

Despite making the best of his situation, Bryant said he’s ready to return to College Station and will hopefully head back in about a week. 

“Vaughn Bryant is an exemplar of what it means to be a colleague,” said Texas A&M College of Liberal Arts Dean Pamela Matthews. “He is passionate about his research, his teaching, and his service to Texas A&M University and beyond … That he continues to do all of these things from a germ-free hospital room while he undergoes cancer treatment tells you everything you need to know about Vaughn Bryant as a valued faculty member at Texas A&M.”
Originally posted here.