Andrew French

Professor, Physiology and Biophysics, School of Biomedical Engineering



Andrew S. French, PhD
Phone: 902-494-1302



Sensory transduction and adaptation in mechanoreceptors, photoreceptors and chemoreceptors. Information coding and transmission in sensory systems. All of our current research uses arthropod (insect and spider) sensory models. We use a wide range of experimental techniques including electrophysiology, systems analysis, microscopies, pharmacology and molecular biology.

Our Group

We are always looking for good people to be graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates or technicians. We have a long record of successful training and a friendly, informal, but hard-working, laboratory environment. If you think you would be interested in training with us or working for us, please don't hesitate to contact us.  

Current Projects

Sensory transduction and sensory signal encoding in spider mechanoreceptors. Our long term goals are to identify all the molecules involved in mechanotransduction and how they are assembled into structures that can convert stress in the cuticle to ionic currents in sensory neuron membranes.
Modulation of sensory mechanotransduction. We are identifying a range of synaptic transmitter chemicals, their membrane receptors and second messenger systems, where appropriate, that function to modulate the dynamic sensitivity of transduction and sensory encoding in mechanoreceptors.
Quantitative measures of information coding in sensory receptors, using primarily linear and nonlinear systems analysis approaches.
Sensory transduction in insect photoreceptors, particularly the identification of molecules and signaling pathways between light absorption by rhodopsins and ionic currents in photoreceptor membranes.


Selected Publications

See my lab webpage for  recent publications