Professor Andrew Fry is Director of Research for the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology at the University of Leicester. He is a Professor of Biochemistry within the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology where he runs a research group studying the molecular control of cancer cell division.
Professor Fry is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, having graduated from the University of Oxford with a First Class Honours Degree in Biochemistry in 1989 before completing a DPhil at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Oxford in 1993. He then undertook postdoctoral research within the laboratory of Professor Erich Nigg first as a Royal Society Postdoctoral Fellow at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in Lausanne (1993-1995), Switzerland, and then as a Maitre Assistant in the Department of Molecular Biology at the University of Geneva, Switzerland (1995-1998). He took up a lectureship at the University of Leicester in 1999 before receiving a Lister Institute Senior Research Fellowship in 2000. Professor Fry was promoted to a Readership in 2005 and a personal Chair in 2008. He acted as the Deputy Head of Department for Biochemistry from 2010-2015. He is currently a member of the Faculty of 1000 and a member of The Wellcome Trust College of Peer Reviewers. Professor Fry also served on the Grants Committee for Worldwide Cancer Research from 2011-2015, and has received funding for his research from, amongst others, The Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK, BBSRC, MRC, Worldwide Cancer Research and Kidney Research UK.
The goal of Professor Fry’s research is to identify novel and important mechanisms that control human cell division with a particular focus on regulation of the microtubule cytoskeleton. His ambition is to understand how microtubules and microtubule organising centres are remodelled during progression through the cell cycle, including how primary cilia are assembled and resorbed upon entry into and exit from quiescence, and how interphase microtubule arrays are converted into a bipolar spindle upon transition into mitosis.
One specific aim of his research is to provide new insights into the complex organisation of the mammalian centrosome, while much of my work involves studying how the 11 members of the human NEK serine/threonine kinase family control these events. The overarching purpose is to answer fundamental questions about microtubule biology and cell cycle control, discover how defects in these processes contribute to human disease, including cancer, and search for new and innovative therapies that exploit these discoveries.