The Cooper Laboratory studies tuberculosis, which is responsible for more deaths worldwide than any other bacterial infection.
The bacterium causing tuberculosis has existed within the human population since antiquity and can manipulate the human immune response to achieve its own goals. Dr. Cooper’s laboratory is working to understand precisely how the bacterium alters the immune response in order to improve vaccines against tuberculosis and other diseases of the lung. Understanding how the body responds to bacteria also helps elucidate what exactly is taking place when the immune response goes wrong, as can happen in autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disease.
Dr. Cooper began her scientific career at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where she described the interaction between macrophages and protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania. Moving to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, she expanded her investigation of leishmaniasis and leishmanial antigens to include the T-cell-mediated response of patients suffering from cutaneous, mucocutaneous and visceral forms of this disease. Dr. Cooper then moved to the Mycobacterial Research Labs at Colorado State University and began studying the protective immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This is a pathogen with a similar lifestyle to Leishmania but one with a much greater impact on world health. Following her appointment to the faculty at Colorado State, she elucidated the essential role of the Interferon-gamma [IFN-y]-Interleukin-12 [IL-12] pathway in protection from mycobacterial disease.
In January 2002, Dr. Cooper moved to the Trudeau Institute, which allowed her to focus her investigation of the cellular immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Recent work has resulted in the definition of the roles of IL-12, IL-23 and IL-27 in both the primary and vaccine-induced immune response to this pathogen in the lung.
To contact Dr. Cooper email: email@example.com