Dr. Dan Regan

Dan Regan

Dr. Dan Regan is the 2014 AKC Canine Health Foundation Clinician-Scientist Fellow from Colorado State University.

Dr. Regan completed his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia in 2011. He has a passion for the field of Immunology and applied his interest to eye disease, investigating the mechanisms underlying recurrent uveitis in horses and encephalitis in dogs, as well as the characterization of primitive neuro-ectodermal tumors of the canine eye. His research was published in the peer-reviewed journals Veterinary Ophthalmology and Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation.  He is now focused on applying his immunology background to cancer research in a dual training program at Colorado State University where he will earn board certification in veterinary Anatomic Pathology and a PhD in Immunology.

Fellowship Research Project

Dr. Regan will be studying inflammatory monocytes, an immature myeloid cell important in innate immune responses, which have also been shown to be increased in the blood of tumor-bearing humans and dogs, and are associated with poor disease outcome. Specifically, these monocytes have been shown to play key roles in tumor metastasis through promotion of tumor cell extravasation, seeding, growth, and angiogenesis, as well as suppression of anti-tumor immunity.

Migration of inflammatory monocytes to sites of tumor metastasis is predominately mediated primarily via the action of the CCL2-CCR2 chemotactic axis. It is hypothesized that monocyte migration blockade through antagonism of the CCL2 receptor, CCR2, may represent an attractive therapeutic target for the treatment of metastatic disease. Because of the cost and time involved in novel anti-cancer drug development, In silico modeling was utilized to predict CCR2 antagonists from a library of existing, approved, small molecule drugs.

In vitro and in vivo studies to assess the monocyte migration inhibiting activity of a number of these proposed drugs for mouse, canine, and human monocytes are currently being conducted. The effectiveness of these re-purposed, novel, myeloid cell-targeted therapeutics as anti-metastatic agents will be evaluated in mouse tumor metastasis models, as well as tumor-bearing dogs. The goal of this study is to identity the best repurposed drug which effectively targets myeloid cells for the adjuvant treatment of metastatic disease in canine and human patients.

Learn more about the AKC Canine Health Foundation Clinician-Scientist Fellowship Program and Adopt a Researcher.

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