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Roland Cooper, PhD

Dr. Cooper joined the department in 2011. His NIH-funded research is focused on the molecular mechanism of drug action and resistance in the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. His projects are based both in the laboratory and Uganda. Dr. Cooper teaches Advanced Genetics, Medical Parasitology and Research Methodology.

Associate Professorbw_cooper

Office:  Science Center #224
Lab:  Science Center #221

Academic Areas

Pharmacology, Parasitology, Genetics, Public Health

Educational Background

  • MsPH Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health. Boston, MA
  • PhD Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
  • MA Aquatic & Population Biology, University of California , Santa Barbara, CA
  • BA Biological Science, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA

TEACHING & Research

Malaria, caused by the blood parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, claims about one million lives and results in hundreds of millions of clinical cases annually, primarily due to the lack of safe, affordable and efficacious drugs available for impoverished populations. Compounding the severity of the problem is the lack of an effective malaria vaccine for the foreseeable future. Antimalarial drugs still offer the best hope for reduction of morbidity and mortality associated with this disease. The foundation of my lab’s research has been the mechanistic and genomic aspects of two major classes of antimalarial drugs, the endoperoxides and the quinolines. We are also interested in the relationship between drug resistance, host immunity and HIV status in clinical outcomes of malaria patients in field studies conducted in sub-Saharan Africa.

Recent Publications

  • Griffin, C.E., Hoke, J.M., Samarakoon, U., Duan, J. Mu, J., Ferdig, M.T., David C. Warhurst, D.C. and Cooper, R.A. (2012) Mutation in the Plasmodium falciparum CRT protein determines the stereospecific activity of the antimalarial cinchona alkaloids. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 56, 5356-5364.
  • Hartwig, C.L., Lauterwasser, E. M. W., Mahajan, S.S., Hoke, J.M., Cooper, R.A. and Renslo, A.R. (2011) Investigating the antimalarial action of 1,2,4-Trioxolanes with fluorescent chemical probes. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 23, 8207-8213.
  • Patel, J.J., Thacker, D., Tan, J.C., Pleeter, P., Checkley, L., Gonzales, J.M., Deng, B., Roepe, P.D., Cooper, R.A., Ferdig, M.T. Chloroquine susceptibility and reversibility in a Plasmodium falciparum genetic cross. Molecular Microbiolog 78, 770-87. PMID: 20807203. (2010)
  • Hartwig C.L., Rosenthal A.S., Angelo J.D., Griffin C.E., Posner G.H., Cooper, R.A. Accumulation of artemisinin trioxane derivatives within neutral lipids of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites is endoperoxide-dependent. Biochemical Pharmacology 77, 322-336. PMID: 19022224. (2009)
  • Kelly, J.X., Smilkstein, M.J., Brun, R., Wittlin, S., Cooper, R.A., Lane, K.D., Janowsky, A., Johnson, R.A., Dodean, R.A., Winter, R., Hinrichs, D.J., Riscoe, M.K. Discovery dual function acridones as a new antimalarial chemotype. Nature 459, 270-273. PMID: 19357645. (2009)
  • Jiang, H., Patel, J.J., Yi, M., Ding, J., Stephens, R., Cooper, R.A., Ferdig, M.T. and Su, X-z. Genome-wide compensatory changes accompany drug-selected mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum crt gene. PLoS One 3, e2484. PMID: 18575593. (2008)
  • Kelly, J.X., Smilkstein, M., Cooper, R.A., Lane, K.D., Johnson, R., Janowsky, A., Dodean, R., Hinrichs, J., Winter R. and Riscoe, M. Design, synthesis, and evaluation of 10-N-substituted acridones as novel chemosensitizers in Plasmodium falciparum. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 51, 4133-4140. PMID: 17846138. (2007)

Recent Presentations

  • Artemether-lumefantrine selects for malaria parasites with decreased lumefantrine sensitivity although parasites remain sensitive to this regimen in Tororo, Uganda. Tumwebaze, P.K. Bloome, J., Byaruhanga, O., Nakazibwe, C., Walakira, A., Okiring, J., Nsobya, S.L. Cooper, R.A., Rosenthal, P.J. American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Meeting, Atlanta GA, November 11-15, 2012.
  • Molecular Action of 1,2,4-Trioxolanes in Plasmodium falciparum. Cooper, R.A., Hartwig, C.L., Lauterwasser, E., Mahajan, S., Hoke, M., Renslo, A. Drug Development Against Protozoans Keystone Meeting. Santa Fe NM. January 15-19, 2012
  • Ex vivo drug sensitivity of malaria parasites under selective pressure in Tororo, Uganda. Tumwebaze, P.K., Byaruhanga, O., Okiring, J., Nsobya, S.L., Cooper, R.A., Rosenthal, P.J. American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Meeting, Philadelphia PA. December 4-8, 2011

Published Abstracts

Acridone ASTMH Abstract 2013

ASTMH Abstract MF2013

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