Julie Ryan, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Julie Ryan, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 704
Rochester, NY 14642

Office: (585) 276-3862
Administrative: (585) 275-3871
Lab: (585) 275-7678
Fax: (585) 273-1346

Professional Bio

Julie L Ryan, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Dermatology and Radiation Oncology and a member of the Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) Research Base at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She is a translational researcher combining the fields of cancer control, dermatology, and radiation oncology. She has expertise in cancer pathobiology, virology, and clinical research and trial design, with publications in lung cancer, breast cancer, gastric cancer, Epstein–Barr virus, and cancer treatment-related symptoms. The primary focus of Dr Ryan's research is cancer treatment symptom management, specifically radiation dermatitis and chemotherapy-related nausea.

Research Bio

Dr. Ryan performs basic and clinical research combining the fields of cancer control, dermatology, and radiation oncology. Dr. Ryan's research primarily focuses on uncovering the biological mechanisms of radiation-induced skin toxicities and developing a successful intervention to reduce these toxicities and improve the quality of life of cancer patients. Radiation dermatitis occurs in about 95% of patients and can negatively affect a patient's quality of life due to pain and premature interruption of radiation treatment. Management of radiation dermatitis has a broader significance as well; it has great importance in the morbidity and mortality expected in any potential "dirty bomb" attack.

Curcumin, a component of turmeric, is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. It has been used for many years to treat skin ailments and is currently being used as an anti-cancer agent. Preclinical studies by our group demonstrated that curcumin (oral administration) reduced radiation skin toxicity by 50% in mice. Currently, Dr Ryan has preclinical laboratory studies and clinical trials examining the role of skin barrier dysfunction and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the severity of radiation skin injury and testing the efficacy of curcumin (both oral and topical administration) as a mitigator of radiation skin injury. As part of the Center for Medical Countermeasures Against Radiation (U19) Program Grant, Dr Ryan is investigating the hypothesis that radiation-induced skin injury involves altered barrier function, haphazard dendritic cell trafficking, and reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated damage resulting in chronic inflammation and impeded wound healing. The clarification of the nature of these defects will provide a foundation for mitigating multi-organ damage from radiation. Furthermore, Dr. Ryan performs preclinical testing on other radioprotective/mitigative agents to reduce tissue injury while enhancing the sensitization of tumors to radiation. Additionally, Dr. Ryan is also interested in elucidating the potential physical and psychosocial factors that influence the frequency and severity of skin problems and pain experienced by cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment. She is currently performing a clinical study to test a new survey instrument designed to assess the skin problems and pain experienced by cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment. Besides radiation-induced skin injury, Dr. Ryan is also involved in studies examining ginger as an intervention for chemotherapy-related nausea. After a successful multisite clinical trial through the URCC Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) demonstrated that ginger supplementation (i.e., capsules) significantly reduced acute chemotherapy-induced nausea in cancer patients receiving standard antiemetics during chemotherapy, Dr. Ryan has designed a pilot clinical trial to determine if ginger-scented nasal strips (Aromainhaler®) will be effective against chemotherapy-induced nausea.

Awards & Honors (National)

National Institutes of Health Clinical Loan Repayment Program 2006 - 2010

Awards & Honors (Local)

Investigation New Drug (IND) #75,444 Curcumin C3 Complex, Food & Drug Administration | Center for Drug Evaluation and Res, Div of Drug Oncology Prod 2007 - Present
National Cancer Institute Cancer Control Research Training Fellowship Award, Dept of Radiation Oncology | James P. Wilmot Cancer Ctr, Univ of Rochester Sch of Med & Dent 2005 - 2007
Rochester Clinical Research Fellow, Dept of Community and Preventative Medicine | University of Rochester School of Med & Dent 2005 - 2007
Transportation Grant Award, Univ of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School | 11th Biennial Conf of Internat Assoc Res on Epstein-Barr Virus | Regensberg, Germany 2004
Pathobiology of Cancer: The Edward A. Smuckler Memorial Workshop | American Association of Cancer Research | Snowmass, CO 2004
American Society of Investigative Pathology Travel Award, Experimental Biology Meeting | New Orleans, LA 2002
Environmental Pathology Training Grant (#T32 ES07017) | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dept Path & Lab Med 2001 - 2005

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 43 available »

2016 Nov
Barlow ML, Cummings RJ, Pentland AP, Love TM, Haidaris CG, Ryan JL, Lord EM, Gerber SA. "Total-Body Irradiation Exacerbates Dissemination of Cutaneous Candida Albicans Infection." Radiation research. 2016 Nov; 186(5):436-446. Epub 2016 Oct 06.
2015 Jan
Gerber SA, Cummings RJ, Judge JL, Barlow ML, Nanduri J, Johnson DE, Palis J, Pentland AP, Lord EM, Ryan JL. "Interleukin-12 preserves the cutaneous physical and immunological barrier after radiation exposure." Radiation research. 2015 Jan; 183(1):72-81. Epub 2015 Jan 07.
2014 Jul
Gewandter JS, Mohile SG, Heckler CE, Ryan JL, Kirshner JJ, Flynn PJ, Hopkins JO, Morrow GR. "A phase III randomized, placebo-controlled study of topical amitriptyline and ketamine for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN): a University of Rochester CCOP study of 462 cancer survivors." Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer. 2014 Jul; 22(7):1807-14. Epub 2014 Feb 16.
2013 Sep
Ibrahim SF, Ahronowitz I, McCalmont TH, Hernandez Pampaloni M, Ryan JL, Yu SS. "18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography-computed tomography imaging in the management of Merkel cell carcinoma: a single-institution retrospective study." Dermatologic surgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et al.]. 2013 Sep; 39(9):1323-33. Epub 2013 Jun 18.
2013 Jul
Ryan JL, Heckler CE, Ling M, Katz A, Williams JP, Pentland AP, Morrow GR. "Curcumin for radiation dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of thirty breast cancer patients." Radiation research. 2013 Jul; 180(1):34-43. Epub 2013 Jun 07.

Current Appointments

Associate Professor - Department of Dermatology (SMD) - Primary
Associate Professor - Department of Radiation Oncology (SMD)


Masters of Public Health-Clinical Investigation Track | University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry2007
Ph.D., | Pathology | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill2005
B.A. in Biological Sciences | Biology | University of Chicago1997