Meet the Associate Dean

Allison D. Fryer, PhD, FBPharmacolS

Alison D. Fryer PhD

Dr Fryer received her PhD in Pharmacology from the University of London in 1986 and joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins University as an Instructor in 1989.   She left Johns Hopkins as a Full Professor to move to Oregon Health and Science University in 2003.  She has always been active in education. Her first graduate student earned a PhD in 1992 and since then she has trained 13 PhD students in her own lab as well as served on exam and thesis committees for many others. 

A popular lecturer, she has created and directed courses in Pulmonary Pharmacology, Communication in Science, and Organ Systems. She volunteered in her local elementary schools carrying out experiments that ranged from the properties of solids, liquids, and gas (with dry ice) to dissecting cow hearts. She has received teaching awards from both elementary and graduate students.  Dr Fryer served on committees overseeing graduate education at Johns Hopkins and at OHSU before becoming Director of the Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at OHSU, and in 2008 Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. 

Dr Fryer also has an active research program. She discovered and characterized the receptors on parasympathetic nerves supplying the lungs that limit constriction of the airways.  Having demonstrated that loss of receptor function accompanied airway hyperreactivity, a feature of asthma, she has been examining what mechanisms cause this loss of function and resulting airway hyperreactivity. Toward that end, Dr Fryer has demonstrated the presence of a complex relationship between nerves and inflammatory cells that may normally be protective but appears to go wrong in chronic inflammatory diseases such as asthma.  Her research is now focused upon understanding the physiological and pathological interactions between nerves and inflammatory cells.

She has published over 100 peer review papers, book chapters and editorials. She has been an editor for the British Journal of Pharmacology and American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and is a member of a grant review study section at the NIH.   She is married to David Jacoby, the Chair of the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at OHSU, and they have three children who are currently in high school or college.