Rebecca Fry, PhD

Professor Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Director UNC Superfund Research Program

T:(919) 843-6864

rfry@email.unc.edu

140 Rosenau Hall

CB #7431

Chapel Hill, NC 27599

USA

Dr. Fry's lab focuses on understanding how environmental exposures are associated with human disease with a particular focus on genomic and epigenomic perturbations. Using environmental toxicogenomics and systems biology approaches, the researchers aim to identify key molecular pathways that associate environmental exposure with diseases. A current focus in the lab is to study prenatal exposure to various types of metals including arsenic, cadmium, and lead.

Dr. Fry also aims to understand molecular mechanisms by which such early exposures are associated with long-term health effects in humans. For example, she examinines DNA methylation profiles in humans exposed to metals during the prenatal period. This research will enable the identification of gene and epigenetic biomarkers of metal exposure. The identified genes can serve as targets for study to unravel potential molecular bases for metal-induced disease.

Ultimately, Dr. Fry's lab aims to identify mechanisms of metal-induced disease and the basis for inter-individual disease susceptibility.

Honors and Awards

NAS Committee on Inorganic Arsenic
2012, National Academy of Sciences

Teaching Innovation Award
2014, Gillings School of Global Public Health

Teaching Innovation Award
2012, Gillings School of Global Public Health

Newton Underwood Memorial Teaching Award
2011, UNC Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering

PopTech Science Public Leadership Fellowship
2010

Fellow
2009, Aspen Cancer Conference

Pfizer Scholar in Public Health
2009

Research Activities

Cancer

Child development

Environment (water)

Global health

Key Publications

Air toxics and epigenetic effects: Ozone altered microRNAs in the sputum of human subjects. Neil Alexis, Rebecca Bauer, Rebecca Fry, Ilona Jaspers, David Peden, Julia Rager, Elizabeth Sebastian (2014). American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, 306(12), L1129-L1137.

Cadmium exposure and the epigenome: Exposure-associated patterns of DNA methylation in leukocytes from mother-baby pairs. Allison Ashley-Koch, Tristan DeBussycher, Rebecca Fry, Jessica Laine, Marie Miranda, Julia Rager, Daniel Rojas, Alison Sanders, Lisa Smeester, Geeta Swamy, Fred Wright, Michael Wu, Yi-Hui Zhou (2014). Epigenetics, 9(2).

Cadmium levels in a North Carolina cohort: Identifying risk factors for elevated levels during pregnancy. Sharon Edwards, Rebecca Fry, Pamela Maxson, Marie Miranda (2014). Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.

Cellular interactions and biological responses to titanium dioxide nanoparticles in HepG2 and BEAS-2B cells: Role of cell culture media. Carl Blackman, David Demarini, Rebecca Fry, Micaela Killius, Andrew Kligerman, Raju Prasad, Steven Simmons, Robert Zucker (2014). Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis.

Cellular interactions and biological responses to titanium dioxide nanoparticles in HepG2 and BEAS-2B cells: Role of cell culture media. Carl Blackman, David DeMarini, Rebecca Fry, Micaela Killius, Andrew Kligerman, Raju Prasad, Steven Simmons, Robert Zucker (2014). Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, 55(4), 336-342.

Education

PhD, Biology, Tulane University, 2000

MS, Biology, Tulane University, 1997

BS, Biology, William Smith College, 1995