TAMU professor continues research, teaching during cancer battle

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COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX)- Vaughan Bryant, a long time Texas A&M University professor, is battling Leukemia. Recently, his fight against cancer became more complicated.

"I do have the most lethal form of Leukemia. So, now I am in isolation for a month and being fed chemotherapy day and night," said Bryant.

The cancer hasn't stopped him from teaching students about Palynology, the study of pollen and honey.

"You can't keep the busy bee down," said Bryant.

Bryant said nothing can get him down.

"Why am I still doing this? Why aren't I retired? Because I love it! Although it's a challenge, it's being with students, this is my life," said Bryant.

He is so passionate with his research that he asked MD Anderson if he could continue his studies during isolation.

"I think I raised the bar at MD Anderson. The doctors said they have never had a patient ask to bring in a microscope," he said.

Luckily for Bryant, one of his graduate students delivered samples and the microscope.

"He is super driven and motivated and really selfless with his students. It's the least that I could do," said Angie Perrotti, a student at Texas A&M.

Perrotti also sent him a few samples of pollen from the lab.

"Right now, I am looking at two samples from Tennessee. Mary Katherine is going to bring me some more this weekend," said Bryant.

Mary Katherine is his granddaughter who is also following in her grandfather's footsteps and studying palynology.

"I've never met anyone so optimistic as he is. I strive to be like that everyday," said Mary Katherine Bryant.

On top of checking out samples, Bryant is even teaching classes online.

"I bet my student's don't even think I'm here. I bet they think I am in the lab goofing off somewhere," said Bryant.

Bryant says he can't wait to get back into the lab as soon as he is released from the hospital.

"I am totally convinced that after a month, I am going to walk out of here and we will be able to get back to work. But we will see," said Bryant.

Bryant is also writing a book about his 30 days in isolation. He said he plans to publish it as soon as he's free.