Lauren French

Headshot of Lauren French
Office Phone: (814) 332-3306
Office Building: Steffee Hall
Office Room: B313
Box #: 10

Professional Title/s

Associate Professor : Associate Professor : Coordinator, Jewish Studies

Faculty Credentials

B.A., Oberlin College Ph.D., Cornell University

Biographical Information

Research Interests

My research interests fall under the general heading of Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience. I am interested in exploring what makes individual neurons unique from one another, how they “talk” to each other to transmit information in the nervous system, and how drugs and toxins affect their function. The projects in my lab involve both neurophysiology and molecular biology techniques.

Pharmacology is critical to the study of the nervous system; to learn how proteins such as ion channels contribute to normal function, and to discover the mechanism underlying pathological conditions. I am interested in how various chemicals- both natural toxins and pathogens as well as human-made compounds affect neuronal signaling by targeting ion channels. For example, one project involves a type of ion channel called the BK channel and its possible role in the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease. The activity of this channel has been shown to be inhibited by a protein called Amyloid Beta. I’m interested in characterizing this interaction and discovering how the peptide affects the channel behavior. I am also pursuing how chemicals used as anesthetics may interact with ion channels.

Another line of research involves the crayfish as a model organism to study adult neurogenesis. We used to believe that the nervous system was only capable of producing new nerve cells during development, but we now know that neurogenesis is ongoing throughout animals’ lifetime in certain areas of the brain. I am interested in studying the mechanisms underlying this process, and how it can be promoted or inhibited.

Dr. French honored at the Basketball Faculty Appreciation Night


More Information

Office Hours

  • Monday: 2:00 - 3:00 pm
  • Tuesday: 10:30-11:30 am, (and) 2:00 - 3:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 1:30-4:30 pm
  • Thursday: None
  • Friday: None

By appointment (sign up via Google Calendar).