Photo of Prof Andrew Cossins

Prof Andrew Cossins BSc, PhD

Professor of Animal Genomic Sciences Biochemistry & Systems Biology


Personal Statement

Andrew Cossins is an integrative animal physiologist with research interests in stress physiology of vertebrate animals. After a PhD with Ken Bowler in Durham University, UK, in 1974 he spent two postdoctoral years in University of Illinois, USA, working with Ladd Prosser, one of the great figures in comparative animal physiology
. In 1976 he returned to Cambridge, UK, to work on membrane-linked addiction syndromes with Alex Bangham FRS, the discoverer of liposomes. In 1977 he moved to the University of Liverpool, where he has remained to this day. Andrew is best known for his early biophysical demonstrations of ‘homeoviscous’ membrane adaptations by fish to temperature and abyssal pressures through manipulation of lipid unsaturation. His Liverpool group cloned the first fish ∆9-desaturase in carp and showed its graded induction during cold conditioning. More recently, they have been in the vanguard of genome-wide screening technologies, with a series of array-based, genome-wide studies of gene responses to ecotox, disease tolerance, hibernation, heat & cold, and hypoxia, notably including the discovery of non-muscle myoglobin in fish. He was involved with the UK Environmental Genomics initiative for NERC 2000-2005, and chaired both the Consortium for Post-Genome Sciences, and the 'Genome-to-Systems' international conference series in 2003-2008. He is a founding Director of the Centre for Genomic Research at Liverpool, now part of the UK National Infrastructure. He has published widely including in Science, PNAS, Circulation, and News & Views, Nature. He was a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Science (2007-2010), is a Director of the Company of Biologists (2009-present) and until recently was Head of the Institute of Integrative Biology, Liverpool.

Other Personal Distinctions

  • Chair and Organiser (NERC International Workshop, 2004)