Rebecca Fry, PhD
Dr. Fry is Director of the Institute for Environmental Health Solutions.
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
2009, Aspen Cancer Conference
Pfizer Scholar in Public Health
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.
Sexual epigenetic dimorphism in the human placenta: Implications for susceptibility to stressors during the prenatal period. Martin, E., Smeester, L., Bommarito, P.A., Grace, M.R., Boggess, K., Kuban, K., Karagas, M.R., Marsit, C.J., O’Shea, T.M., Fry, R.C. (2017). Epigenomics.
A cross-study analysis of prenatal exposures to environmental contaminants and the epigenome: support for stress-responsive transcription factor occupancy as a mediator of gene-specific CpG methylation patterning. Martin EM, Fry RC (2016). Environmental Epigenetics.
Prenatal arsenic exposure and the epigenome: Identifying sites of 5-methyl cytosine alterations that predict functional changes in gene expression in newborn cord blood and subsequent birth outcomes. Rojas D, Rager JE, Smeester L, Bailey KA, Drobná Z, Rubio-Andrade M, Stýblo M, García-Vargas G, Fry RC (2014). Toxicology Science.
Maternal Arsenic Exposure, Arsenic Methylation Efficiency, and Birth Outcomes in the Biomarkers of Exposure to ARsenic (BEAR) Pregnancy Cohort in Mexico. Laine JE, Bailey KA, Rubio-Andrade M, Olshan AF, Smeester L, Drobná Z, Herring AH, Stýblo M, García-Vargas GG, Fry RC (2014). Environmental Health Perspectives.
Altered DNA Methylation Patterns in Individuals with Arsenicosis. Smeester L, Rager J, Zhang L, Guan X, Bailey K, Smith N, Garcia-Vargas G, Del Razo L, Drobna Z, Kelkar H, Schroth G, Styblo M, Fry RC (2011). Chemical Research in Toxicology.
PhD, Biology, Tulane University, 2000
MS, Biology, Tulane University, 1997
BS, Biology, William Smith College, 1995