Michelle Fry

Associate Professor

Olin Hall 206
(309) 677-3744
mfry@bradley.edu

Ph. D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Virginia Commonwealth University
B.S., Chemistry, Shippensburg University

Biography

Dr. Fry grew up in Pennsylvania and received a B.S. degree in chemistry from Shippensburg University. She went on to pursue graduate studies in biochemistry and molecular biophysics at Virginia Commonwealth University where she joined the laboratory of Dr. Richard Franson and studied the role of phospholipase A2, a membrane-modifying enzyme, in the membrane fusion events of fertilization. After earning her Ph.D., Dr. Fry joined the laboratory of Dr. Vytas Bankaitis in the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham as a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral fellow. During her post-doctoral training, she examined structure-function relationships for SEC14p, a yeast phospholipid transfer protein involved in the late stages of the secretory pathway. Since 1995, Dr. Fry has been a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Teaching

Dr. Fry teaches undergraduate and graduate level biochemistry courses for biochemistry, chemistry and biology majors, including the Biochemistry Laboratory course, Intermediary Metabolism, and a Lipids and Membranes Special Topics course. She also teaches the General Chemistry I course for science majors as well as the Fundamentals of General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry courses for non-science majors.

Scholarship

Dr. Fry’s research group studies the structure-function relationships for membrane-associated proteins involved in protein-trafficking events. Her recent research focuses on the role of the Vac8 protein in a cellular recycling process known as autophagy using the yeast Pichia pastoris as the model system. Specifically, her lab group has been identifying structural motifs in the Vac8 protein that are important for membrane association, protein-protein interactions, and vesicle fusion events occurring during the autophagy of peroxisomes in response to glucose adaptation.

Another project in the Fry research laboratory involves examining the ability of d-lactone derivatives synthesized by Dr. Andersh’s research group to inhibit cyclooxygenase activity in vitro.

Service

Since coming to Bradley, Dr. Fry has served on numerous University and Departmental committees and has been an academic advisor to Biochemistry and Medical Technology majors. She served as the interim associate chairperson of chemistry and biochemistry between 2008 and 2010. She has also served as the coordinator of both the Biotechnology Research and Development and the Medical Technology programs, as a member of the University Curriculum and Regulations Committee, and as member and chair of the Chemistry Division of the Illinois State Academy of Sciences. Dr. Fry currently serves as Bradley representative and president to the board of Central States Universities, Incorporated, as an at-large representative on the University Faculty Senate, and as a member of the LAS Curriculum and Regulations and the Bradley Women’s Studies committees. Dr. Fry maintains a professional membership in the national and Illinois Heartland section of the American Chemical Society, the Council on Undergraduate Research, and the Midwestern Association of Chemistry Teachers at Liberal Arts Colleges. She has been active in outreach with local elementary and middle schools, taking science activities and demonstrations to several schools, and she participates in PTO and the athletic booster organization at her sons’ school.