Inaugural Lecture: Professor Andrea Cooper

Posted by rf117 at Nov 10, 2016 11:40 AM |
Part of the Professorial Inaugural Lecture Series 2016-17 for the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology
Inaugural Lecture: Professor Andrea Cooper

Professor Andrea Cooper

“Just how close is ‘too close for comfort’ when tuberculosis is in the air?”

Professor Andrea Cooper from the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation gave her Professorial Inaugural Lecture on Tuesday 8 November in the Centre for Medicine Lecture Theatre 1.

Her lecture discussed the fact that humans and the bacterium that causes tuberculosis have lived together for a long time. For most, the interaction does not cause a problem but for many the disease can be debilitating and deadly. Why are some people fine living with this bacterium while others suffer? Professor Cooper showed how her work helps us to define the role of the immune response in defining the health outcomes for those who encounter the bacteria which cause tuberculosis.


Professor Cooper received her undergraduate degree from University College, London and her Doctoral degree from The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine UK, where she investigated the interaction between macrophages and protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania. Moving to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, US she expanded her investigation of leishmaniasis to include the T cell response of patients suffering from cutaneous, mucocutaneous and visceral forms of this disease. She then moved to the Mycobacterial Research Labs at Colorado State University and began studying the protective immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Prior to her move to the University of Leicester she was at the Trudeau Institute, Inc. for 12 years where she held the E.L. Trudeau Chair. The underlying theme of Professor Cooper’s work is the definition of the mechanisms which mediate initiation, expression and regulation of immunity within the lung. There is a current focus on the role of lymphocyte priming in prolonged expression of immunity within an inflamed lung environment. The model used to probe immunity involves mycobacterial challenge through droplet particles to the alveolar tissue of the lung. The studies contribute to the development of working models of individual susceptibility to lung disease and to the development of rationally designed interventions.

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