Gerald D. Frye, PhD

Gerald D. Frye, PhD

Professor Emeritus

Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, TAMU Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience (TAMU/TAMHSC)


  • PhD, Pharmacology, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (1977)
  • NIH Postdoctoral fellow, Neuropharmacology, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hil
  • BS, Biology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (VA Tech, 1972)

Research Interest

Our primary tools for studying neuronal responses have been electrophysiological using patch-clamp whole cell recordings in single neurons in brain slices and primary neuronal cell cultures. Most of this work has been supported by peer-reviewed NIH grants from the National Institutes of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

  • Understanding the neuropharmacology of intoxication, tolerance and dependence, including epilepsy-like withdrawal seizures.  How do alcohols (ethanol), change central nervous system (CNS) function through direct molecular level actions on the brain?  How does alcohol activate brain adaptive responses in neurotransmitter systems and neurocircuits of the nervous system to cause acute and chronic resistance to intoxication (e.g. tolerance) and the physical requirement for ethanol (e.g. dependence) that triggers the withdrawal syndrome (e.g., DTs) including transient life threatening grand mal seizures?
  • Understanding the neurotoxicology of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) to identify therapeutic interventions that protect / improve brain function of children at risk for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) injury. What causes the fetal alcohol syndrome / fetal alcohol spectrum disorder where intoxication disrupts critical periods of neuronal development and causes lasting impairment of cognitive brain function?  How does ethanol distort receptors for the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the young brain, which is also an alcohol target in the adult brain? What is the impact of ethanol on the formation and refinement of brain synapses?  Can therapeutic interventions protect brain connections and activity as well as preserve cognitive function? 

I participate in graduate training as a member of the faculty in the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience.

Selected Publications

(Search for Frye articles in PubMed)

  • Shannonhouse JL, DuBois DW, Fincher AS, Vela AM, Henry MM, Wellman PJ, Frye GD, Morgan C.  Fluoxetine disrupts motivation and GABAergic signaling in adolescent hamsters.  Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry.  2016 Apr 8;69:19-30. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2016.04.001 PMID: 27068049
  • DuBois, D.W., Damborsky, J.C., Fincher, A.S., Frye, G.D., and Winzer-Serhan, U.H, (2013) Varenicline and nicotine enhance GABAergic synaptic transmission in rat CA1 hippocampal and medial septum / diagonal band neurons, Life Science, 92:337-344.      PMID: 23352971
  • Wang, H, DuBois, D.W., Tobery, Angelika N., Griffith, W.H., Brandt, P. and Frye, G.D., (2013) Long-lasting distortion of GABA signaling in MS/DB neurons after binge-like ethanol exposure during initial synaptogenesis,  Brain Res.  1520:36-50.   PMID: 23685190
  • Bañuelos, C, Gilbert, R., Montgomery, K., Fincher, A, Wang, H., Frye, G.D., Setlow, B. & Bizon, J., (2012) Altered spatial learning and delay discounting in a rat model of human third trimester binge ethanol exposure, Behav. Pharmacol., 23: 54-85.     PMID: 22129556
  • Huang, LZ, Hsiao, SH, Trzeciakowski, J, Frye, GD and Winzer-Serhan, UH. (2006) "Chronic nicotine induces growth retardation in neonatal rat pups". Life Sciences 78:1483-1493.
  • DuBois, DW, Trzeciakowski, JP, Parrish, AR and Frye, GD. (2006) "GABAergic miniature postsynaptic currents in septal neurons show differential allosteric sensitivity after binge-like ethanol exposure". Brain Res., 1089:101-115.
  • Hsiao, SH, DuBois, DW, Miranda, R and Frye, GD. (2004) "Critically-timed ethanol exposure reduces GABAAR function of septal neurons developing in vivo but not in vitro". Brain Res 1008:69-80.
  • DuBois, DW, Parrish, AR, Trzeciakowski, JP and Frye, GD. (2004) "Binge ethanol exposure delays development of GABAergic miniature currents in septal neurons Dev". Br. Res. 152:199-212.
  • Hsiao, SH and Frye, GD. (2003) "AMPA receptors on developing medial septum/diagonal band neurons are sensitive to early postnatal binge-like ethanol exposure".Dev. Brain Res. 142:89-99.
  • Botting, SK, Frye, GD, Pulido, MD and McCool, BA. (2003) "Effects of chronic alcohol ingestion on rat lateral/basolateral amygdala ligand-gated chloride channels". Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 985:479-480.
  • McCool, BA, Frye, GD, Pulido, MD and Botting, SK. (2003) "Effects of chronic ethonal consumption on rat GABAA and stychnine-sensitive glycine receptors expressed by lateral/basolateral Amygdala neurons". Brain Res. 963:165-177.
  • Hsiao, SH, Parrish, AR, Nahm, SS, Abbott, LC, McCool, BA and Frye, GD. (2002) "Effects of early postnatal ethanol intubation on GABAergic synaptic proteins". Dev. Brain Res. 138:177-185.
  • Hsiao, SH, Acevedo, JL, DuBois, DW, Smith, KR, West, JR and Frye, GD. (2001) "Early postnatal ethanol intubation blunts GABAA receptor up-regulation and modifies 3alpha-hydroxy-5alpha-pregnan-20-one sensitivity in rat MS/DB neurons". Dev. Brain Res.130:25-45.
  • Frye, GD and Fincher, AS. (2000) "Sustained ethanol inhibition of native AMPA receptors on medial septum/diagonal band (MS/DB) neurons". Brit. J. Pharmacol., 129:87-94.
  • Grover, CA, Wallace, KA, Lindberg, SA and Frye, GD. (1998) "Ethanol inhibition of NMDA currents in acutely dissociated medial septum/diagonal band neurons from ethanol dependent rats". Brain Res. 782:43-52.
  • DuBois, D.W., Damborsky, J.C., Fincher, A.S., Frye, G.D., and Winzer-Serhan, U.H, (2013) Varenicline and nicotine enhance GABAergic synaptic transmission in rat CA1 hippocampal and medial septum / diagonal band neurons, Life Science, 92:337-344.      PMID: 23352971