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Faculty Profile

Tiffany Frey

(she/her/hers)Associate Professor of Biology (2011)

Contact Information

James Hall - Rector Complex Room 2221


I have been studying inflammation since 2003 when I started my dissertation research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the Department of Pediatric Surgery. I have studied inflammation in various settings over the years including sepsis, lung infection, diabetes, and autoinflammatory diseases. My primary interest is how products of the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway affect the response of monocytes and macrophages to the inflammatory stimulus lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which is a component of Gram-negative bacteria such as Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli. I am currently focused on how the depletion of non-sterol isoprenoids produced by the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway causes the inflammatory symptoms (such as fever, rash, and joint pain) associated with the rare autoinflammatory disease mevalonate kinase deficiency (MKD). We model this disease in mouse and human cells by blocking the cholesterol pathway with various drugs followed by stimulation with LPS. A number of inflammatory phenotypes are altered when we block the cholesterol pathway including the expression of inflammatory genes (cytokine mRNAs and miRNAs that regulate inflammatory pathways), trafficking and release of acute phase proteins such as CD14, and levels of extracellular vesicles. Our goal is to understand the causes of these alterations, which will lead to a deeper understanding of inflammation in various disease settings.


  • B.S., The Pennsylvania State University, 2000
  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2008

2021-2022 Academic Year

Fall 2021

BIOL 132 Intro to Molecules/Genes/Cells
This introductory course approaches core biological themes from the molecular and cellular level, and is complementary to BIOL 131, Introduction to Organisms, Populations, and Ecosystems. Course content will be focused around a specific theme determined by the instructor, and will include biomolecule and cell structure and function; cell signaling and communication; chromosome and gene structure; DNA replication; transcription; and translation. The course will involve lecture, discussion, and readings from scientific literature. Laboratory exercises include both classic and modern approaches to cellular and molecular biology utilizing prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic organisms. The laboratory will stress the discovery approach in applying current techniques to biological experiments. Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week. This is one of two courses required of all Biology majors before completing upper level coursework. It is complementary to BIOL 131 – Introduction to Organisms, Populations, and Ecosystems, and the courses may be taken in either order.

BIOL 333 Physiology w/Lab
Permission of instructor required.

BIOL 401 Methods in Molec & Cell Bio
This class is intended for students who took one or more classes in the molecules, genes, and cells categories (BIOL216, BIOL313, BIOL326, and BIOL425) during pandemic-affected semesters (Spring 2020, Fall 2020, or Spring 2021) when lab sessions were conducted remotely. The course will cover methods used in the fields of cell and molecular biology with an emphasis on literature analysis, experimental design, data analysis, and communication of results. This course will only satisfy the BIOL major requirement for “two additional lab courses at the 200, 300, or 400 level”. It will not satisfy any BCMB major requirements. 3 hours of lecture and 3 hours of lab/week. Pre-requisite is BIOL216.

BCMB 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch
Student/Faculty Collaborative Research allows a student to conduct original research in close partnership with faculty collaborator(s). The project should be designed as an investigation yielding novel results that contribute to the area of study. With the faculty collaborator(s), students will develop the project and participate in all aspects fo the reasearch. It is expected that the faculty member will work closely with the student for at least half of the time the student is pursuing the research. The final project must be presented to the faculty collaborator(s) no later than one week prior to the end of the evaluation period. The course will typically earn one half or one full course credit per semester.