Photo of Prof Andrew Cossins

Prof Andrew Cossins BSc, PhD

Professor of Animal Genomic Sciences Functional and Comparative Genomics


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.

Personal Distinctions

  • Keynote speaker for session on Comparative Section of American Soc Physiology (Keynote Speech, American Society of Physiologists 2007)
  • Plenary speaker on Comparative Genomics and Proteomics (Invitation to Speak, Hangzhou, China 2007)
  • Featured Lecture on 'Advanced post-genomic approaches to understanding environmental responses' (Keynote Speech, American Physiological Society 2007)
  • Chairman, Organising Committee (Invitation to Speak, Consortium for Post-Genomic Sciences 2006)
  • Chair and Co-organiser (Invitation to Speak, Journal of Experimental Biology Annual Conference 2006)
  • Invited lecture on 'Post-genomic approaches to mechanisms underpinning phenotypic plasticity' (Invitation to Speak, Journal of Experimental Biology 2006)
  • Keynote Lecture, 'Application of post-genomic approaches to understanding environmental in fish' (Keynote Speech, EU Network of Excellence Marine Genomics Europe 2006)
  • Invited lecture on 'Post-genomic approaches to physiological adaptation' (Invitation to Speak, Genetics Society 2005)
  • Invited lecture, 'Post-genomic approaches to understanding environmental responses in fish (Invitation to Speak, Stazione Zoologica, Naples, Italy 2005)
  • Invited lecture on 'Post-genomic approaches to responses to cold stress' (Invitation to Speak, Cell Stress Society International 2005)
  • Chairman, Organising Committee (Invitation to Speak, Consortium for Post-Genome Sciences 2004)
  • Chair and Organiser (NERC International Workshop 2004)
  • Chair, session on Genomics in Environmental and Evolutionary Biology (Invitation to Speak, Gordon Conference, New Hampshire 2003)
  • Chairman, Organising Committee (Invitation to Speak, Consortium for Post-Genome Sciences 2003)
  • Invited lecture on 'Bioinformatics and microarrays' (Invitation to Speak, BBSRC 2003)
  • Plenary Lecture 'The impact of post-genomic technologies on comparative animal physiology' (Keynote Speech, American Physiological Society 2002)

Administrative Roles

  • Associate Dean for Research (Science Faculty). Role in forming inter-disciplinary communities in nanoscale science and technology, and in biocomplexity. Chair of the 'Consortium for Post-Genome Sciences' and the biennial 'Genomes to Systems' Conferences. Co-Director of the 'Liverpool Microarray Facility'.

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