Bryan Essien

Bryan Essien

Assistant Teaching Professor of Biology


Room:FB 267


University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Postdoctoral Res. Fellow, 2015
University of Southern Queensland, Australia, Ph.D. 2010
University of Southern Queensland Australia, BIT Hons., 2006
University of Ahmadu Bello Nigeria, Bachelor of Medical Sc. Hons., 1994

Teaching Interests

My teaching and research interests comprise the areas of molecular biology, microbiology/immunology, inflammation, cancer biology and bioinformatics. I employ student-centered learning pedagogies. My goal in teaching is to encourage the students to be independent in their chosen field. I try to emphasize critical thinking, creative, collaboration and communication skills in addition to the problem-solving skills that will make them fully independent in their projects.

Research Interests

Broadly, I am interested in understanding the mechanism how Gut microbial metabolites such as butyrate exhibits a number of functions spanning from colonocytes fuel source to chromatin remodeling through inhibition of HDACs and examine how the process regulates a host gene. My interest underlines the gap of knowledge in tumor initiation in various cell types and the switch of colonic cells from differentiation to proliferation. This will have an important impact in controlling Inflammatory Bowel Disease and colorectal cancer (CRC).

Specific Research

During my Ph.D., I studied the effects of canine hyperimmune plasma on acute inflammation in a rat pouch model using lipopolysaccharide (LPS) as the inflammatory agonist. The study also characterized TNF-α, an antagonist in conjunction with modeling of LPS induced signal transduction pathways. This research is relevant in understanding the initiation and progression of inflammation driven diseases such as arthritis, autoimmune related diseases, sepsis, inflammatory bowel disease, crohn’s disease and colon cancer.

During my postdoctoral in Dr. Merchant lab at the University of Michigan, I studied the role of a transcription factor Zinc Finger Protein (ZBP-89) in the Gastrointestinal (GI) tract by using ZBP-98 conditionally knockout mice model. This work embraces the molecular characterization of ZBP-89 in the GI tract to elucidate the complex mucosal defense upon intestinal pathogen infection, such as Salmonella typhimurium. We have reported that loss in gut microbial metabolites such as butyrate may affect mucosal innate immune gene expression, e.g. tryphtophan hydroxylase 1 (Tph1) and antimicrobial peptides.

Recent Publications

Bryan Essien, Aaron Chavis, Ramon Ocadiz-Ruiz, Sinju Sundaresan, Amy Tsao, Arthur Tessier, Michael Hayes, Amanda Photenhauer, Milena Saqui-Salces, Yatrik Shah, Balázs Györffy, and Juanita Merchant. Feedforward Induction of βCatenin Gene Expression by Transcription factor ZBP-89 in Colorectal Cancer. Cancer Research, 2016 October. (In Press).

Bryan Essien, Helmut Grasberger, Rachael D. Romain, David J. Law, Natalia A. Veniaminova, Milena Saqui-Salces, Mohamad El-Zaatari, Arthur Tessier, Michael M. Hayes, Alexander C.Yang, Juanita L. Merchant ZBP-89 Regulates Tryptophan Hydroxylase1 and Mucosal Defense Against Salmonella Typhimurium in Mice Gastroenterology 2013 June.

Bryan E. Essien, Alexander Yang, Juanita L. Merchant Transcription Factor ZBP-89 Protects the Colon From AOM/DSS-Induced Tumorigenesis by Interacting With β-Catenin Gastroenterology 05/2014; 146(5)

Bryan E. Essien, Juanita L. Merchant. Butyrate regulation of tryptophan hydroxylase 1 and serotonin (5HT) requires transcription factor ZBP-89. Regulatory Peptides. 08/2012; 177:S20. DOI: 10.1016

Bryan E. Essien and Michael Kotiw. Anti-inflammatory activity of hyperimmune Plasma in a lipopolysaccharide mediated rat air pouch model of Inflammation. Inflammation 2012 Feb.

B Essien, M Kotiw, H Butler and D Strunin. Effect of canine hyperimmune plasma on TNFα and inflammatory cell levels in a lipopolysaccharide-mediated rat air pouch model of inflammation. Critical Care 2009,13 P8doi: 10.1186/cc8064

Martina Anton, Bettina Wagner, Roland Haubner, Claudia Bodenstein, Bryan E. Essien, Heinz Bonisch, Markus Schwaiger, Bernd Gansbacher, Wolfgang A. Weber Use of the norepinephine transporter as a reporter gene for non-invasive imaging of genetically modified cells. 2004. J. of Gene Med.6: 119-126.

Martina Anton, Constanze Wittermann, Roland Haubner, Marcus Simoes, Sybille Reder, Bryan E. Essien, Bettina Wagner, Julia Henke, Wolf Erhardt, Steffi Noll, Neil R. Hackett, Ronald G. Crystal, Markus Schwaiger, Bernd Gansbacher, and Frank M. Bengel. Coexpression of herpesviral thymidine kinase reporter gene and VEGF gene for noninasive monitoring of therapeutic gene transfer; In vitro and initial in vivoevaluation. J. Nucl. Med. 2004 Oct;45(10):1743-6.

Conference Proceedings

Essien, Bryan E, Yang Alexander, Tessier Arthur J, Marquette Alyssa, Tsao Amy, Photenhauer Amanda, Shah, Yatrik M, Gyorffy Balazs, Merchant Juanita L. ZBP-89 Recruits HDACs to β-Catenin Target Genes Regulated by Butyrate Contributing to Colorectal Cancer Progression and Heterogeneity.Digestive Disease Week (DDW), Washington, DC. (2015)

Essien, Bryan E.; Stoffel, Elena M.; Photenhauer, Amanda; Tsao, Amy; Merchant, Juanita L. ZBP-89 (ZNF148) Cooperates with HNF1A, a Transcriptional Regulator Mutated in Colorectal Cancer Before Age 50. (DDW), Washington, DC. (2015)

Bryan E. Essien and Juanita L. Merchant.Transcription Factor Zbp-89 Mediates Anti-Tumorigenic Effects Of Colonic Butyrate, Inflammation, Immunity and therapeutics. 11th World Congress on Inflammation 2013 Natal Brazil

Bryan E. Essien, Helmut Grasberger, Juanita L. Merchant. ZBP-89 Essential for TPH1 Expression and Innate Mucosal Immunity. Digestive Disease Week (DDW), San Diego. (2012)

Bryan E. Essien, Helmut Grasberger, Arthur Tessier, Juanita L. Merchant. ZBP-89 Expression modulates Serotonin release and Mucosal Defense. Federation of American societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Gastrointestinal Tract XIV: Colorado, 2011

BE Essien, M Kotiw, H Butler and D Strunin. The effect of canine hyperimmune plasma on TNF-alpha and inflammatory cell levels in a LPS mediated rat air pouch model of inflammation. Sepsis 2009. Amsterdam, Netherlands Nov. 2009

BE Essien, M Kotiw, H Butler, D Strunin and T Roberts (2008) A mathematical model to account for quantitative iterative effect of TNFα positive feedback mechanisms on inflammatory cascade in TLR-4 mediated TNFα signaling pathway. Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Genome Informatics (GIW2008) Australia

Bryan Essien, Jesus A. Lopez and Michael Kotiw (2007) In-silico Identification of Novel Genomic Polymorphisms on the Course of Sepsis. Bioinformatics Australia 2007 ISBN 978-00-9803047-1-8
Course Schedule
Course No. Section Times Days Location
Fundamentals of Huma 201 1 0900 - 1040 T R FB, room 152
Fundamentals of Huma 201 1 1245 - 1420 MTWRF FB, room 101