Headshot photo of Allison D. Fryer, Ph.D.

Allison D. Fryer, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, School of Medicine
  • Associate Dean, Graduate Studies, Office of the Dean, School of Medicine
  • Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, School of Medicine
  • Physiology and Pharmacology Graduate Program, School of Medicine


Major Scientific Discoveries:
1. Muscarinic receptors on parasympathetic nerves inhibit acetylcholine release in lungs (1984)
2. Airway hyperreactivity is caused by loss of neuronal M2 receptor function following virus infection (1990), antigen challenge (1991), exposure to ozone (1994), organophosphates (2004) or increased insulin (2014) and subsequently that each is via different immune mechanisms
3. Eosinophils are actively recruited to airway nerves (1997) where they release major basic protein (1995 & 1997) that is an endogenous antagonist for neuronal M2 muscarinic receptors (1993)
4. Identified first endogenous antagonist (MBP for M2 receptors in1993)
5. Eosinophils mediate neural plasticity in lung and skin (2011)
6. Macrophages inhibit neuronal M2 receptor function via TNF alpha (2011)
7. Developed novel methods to:
     a) isolate and maintain parasympathetic nerves in cell culture (1996)
     b) image whole lung and quantify nerve length and branching in 3 dimensions (2013, 2014)
8. Eosinophils change phenotypes with age and sensitization status suggesting multiple eosinophil subtypes (2011, 2017)

I have trained 17 PhD students and 14 postdoctoral fellows, many of whom are now leaders in academia and industry.

Full Biography is here: orcid.org/0000-0003-1712-9831

Education and training

    • B.S., 1980, Syracuse University
    • Ph.D., 1986, University of London
    • M.Sc., 1993, University of London
  • Fellowship

    • Post-Doctoral Fellowship Univ. of California 1986-1988
    • Post-Doctoral Fellowship Univ. of Maryland in Baltimore 1988-1989

Memberships and associations:

  • Fellow, British Pharmacological Society
  • Director, and Scientific Program Chair, International Eosinophil Society
  • Member, European Respiratory Society

Areas of interest

  • how and why do inflammatory cells alter autonomic nerve structure and function and neurotransmitters
  • eosinophils
  • muscarinic receptors
  • asthma
  • obesity
  • organophosphate pesticides


Selected publications

  • Wicher SA, Jacoby DB, Fryer AD Newly divided eosinophils limit ozone-induced airway hyperreactivity in nonsensitized guinea pigs. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2017 Jun 1;312(6):L969-L982. PMCID:PMC5495948
  • Drake MG, Bivins-Smith ER, Proskocil BJ, Nie Z, Scott GD, Lee JJ, Lee NA, Fryer AD, Jacoby DB. (2016). Human and Mouse Eosinophils Have Antiviral Activity Against Parainfluenza Virus.  Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2016 Sep;55(3):387-94. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2015-0405OC. PMCID: PMC5023029
  • Proskocil BJ, Bruun DA, Garg JA, Villagomez CC, Jacoby DB, Lein PJ, Fryer AD. (2015) The Influence of Sensitization on Mechanisms of Organophosphorus Pesticide-Induced Airway Hyperreactivity.  Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2015 Nov;53(5):738-47
  • Lee JJ, Protheroe CA, Luo H, Ochkur SI, Scott GD, Zellner KR, Raish RJ, Dahl MV, Vega ML, Conley O, Condjella RM, Kloeber JA, Neely JL, Patel YS, Maizer P, Mazzolini A, Fryer AD, Jacoby NW, Jacoby DB, Lee NA. (2015) Eosinophil-dependent skin innervation and itching following contact toxicant exposure in mice J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015 Feb;135(2):477-487
  • Nie Z, Jacoby DB, Fryer AD. (2014) Hyperinsulinemia potentiates airway responsiveness to parasympathetic nerve stimulation in obese rats. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2014 Aug;51(2):251-61. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2013-0452OC. PMCID: PMC4148040
  • Scott GD, Blum ED, Fryer AD, Jacoby DB (2014). Tissue optical clearing, three-dimensional imaging, and computer morphometry in whole mouse lungs and human airways. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2014 Jul;51(1):43-55. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2013-0284OC PMCID: PMC4091855
  • Drake MG, Scott GD, Proskocil BJ, Fryer AD, Jacoby DB, Kaufman EH (2013) Toll-like receptor 7 rapidly relaxes human airways Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2013 Sep 15;188(6):664-72. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201303-0442OC. PMCID:PMC3826186
  • Proskocil BJ, Bruun DA, Jacoby DB, van Rooijen N, Lein PJ, Fryer AD. (2013) Macrophage TNFα mediates parathion-induced airway hyperreactivity in guinea pigs. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2013 Apr 15;304(8):L519-29. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00381.2012. Epub 2013 Feb 1 PMCID: PMC3625991
  • Evans CE, Fryer AD, Jacoby DB, Gleich GJ, Costello RW. (1997) Pretreatment with an antibody to eosinophil major basic protein prevents hyperresponsiveness by protecting neuronal M2 muscarinic receptors in antigen challenged guinea pigs.  J Clin Invest 100:2254-2262.
  • Fryer AD, Costello RW, Lobb RR, Tedder TF, Bochner BS.  (1997) Antibody to VLA4  protects neuronal M2 receptors in antigen challenged guinea pigs.  J Clin Invest 99:2036-2044.


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