Faculty Spotlight

August 2018

Brian Downer

Christopher Fry, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Nutrition & Metabolism

Web Biography

As a researcher in the Department of Nutrition and Metabolism, Dr. Christopher Fry's research focuses on elucidating the mechanisms that regulate skeletal muscle plasticity to establish interventions to maintain muscle mass and strength during conditions of muscle wasting. Muscle strength is compromised in a variety of acute and chronic health conditions, contributing to reductions in quality of life and functional recovery.

Dr. Fry's lab studies the cellular and molecular changes that occur within skeletal muscle following an orthopedic injury, such as an ACL tear. Current projects in the lab explore both pre-clinical therapeutic targets in rodent models of ACL injury, in addition to Phase II Clinical Trials exploring novel rehabilitation techniques in persons who have suffered an ACL tear. The merging of both animal and clinical studies allows for the rapid translation of findings to patient populations while at the same time determining the mechanisms behind the interventions.

Additional research in Dr. Fry's lab explores the contribution of muscle stem cells to the recovery of muscle mass when it is compromised, as during the aging process or following a severe burn. In collaboration with investigators at UTMB and the Shriners Hospital for Children-Galveston, Dr. Fry's lab is exploring different therapies to rejuvenate muscle stem cell activity to promote healthy muscle growth. Much of this work utilizes genetic and pharmacological approaches in rodent models. Following the success of these trials, Dr. Fry hopes to expand these projects into the clinical setting. Dr. Fry's research is funded through several grants, including awards from the National Institutes of Health and the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Christopher Fry stands next to his poster. Black image with neon outlines of skeletal muscle.