James P. Freyer

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Research Professor

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Adjunct Professor

Cell Biology and Physiology


Ph.D., Biophysics, University of Rochester, 1982

M.S., Biophysics, University of Rochester, 1978

B.A., Physics, La Salle College, 1976


James P. Freyer, Ph.D. has over 34 years experience in the use of 3D in vitro models to investigate the effects of the tumor microenvironment on tumor cell metabolism, physiology, gene/protein expression and response to therapy. Freyer's expertise includes effectively designing, building, validating and applying a wide variety of technologies such as: 3-D cell culture systems, flow cytometry instrumentation, NMR spectroscopy and micro-imaging, assays for measuring cellular metabolism/physiology, optical spectroscopy, and mathematical models of tumor development. He has developed several new technologies for the analysis of spheroids, including flow sorting of spheroids, isolation of cells from known locations, and perfusion systems for controlled culture. His experience with flow cytometry includes the design, construction, validation and application of custom analyzers and sorters for single cells and cellular aggregates. Freyer's experience includes being PI of NIH-funded projects, from small R21 grants to large P41 technology centers, and he has been awarded grants from the DOE, NSF and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He enjoys working in multi- disciplinary groups, and currently collaborates with physicists, biologists, electrical engineers, chemical engineers, synthetic chemists, optical spectroscopists and mathematical modelers. To date he has published 85 scientific papers and reviews, which have garnered over 4,700 citations. Other indicators of scientific impact include an H-index of 35, an i10-index of 60 and the fact that he has 15 papers published 20 or more years ago that were cited over 70 times in the past year. Although he has spent most of his career at non-academic institutions, he also has a 30 year history of highly successful mentoring with students from high school through postdoctoral training.

Research Interests

  • Development of new in vitro models of the cancer microenviroment
  • Development of new flow cytometry instrumentation
  • Investigating the regulation of tumor cell proliferation and metabolism
  • Developing new optical methods for diagnosis and monitoring of cancer progression

Center/Laboratory/Program Affiliations