Jonathan D Cooper, Ph.D.

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Professor of Pediatrics, Genetics and Genomic Medicine
NeurologyGenetics and Genomic MedicinePatient Oriented Research UnitGenetics

phone: (314) 454-6093

Research Interests

Jon Cooper is a neuroscientist and neuropathologist who has been studying the pathogenesis of the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs or Batten disease) and other lysosomal storage disorders for more than 20 years. His lab is the leading international center for the morphological analysis of pathological changes in the NCLs, documenting the onset and progression of neuropathological changes in all the available mouse models of NCL, and in a series of naturally occurring or engineered sheep and dog models. His lab has been involved in many international collaborations to study the efficacy of different pre-clinical interventions in these disorders, leading to several clinical trials and his work lead to an approved enzyme replacement treatment for CLN2 disease. Current research projects include the active role of glia in NCL pathogenesis; the presence of pathology in the spinal cord, peripheral and enteric nervous system; characterization of a CRISPR/Cas9 generated sheep model of CLN1 disease.

Following postdoctoral training in Europe and California, he was appointed to the faculty at King's College London, UK, where he was a Professor of Experimental Neuropathology, at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience. In addition to his research role, he was also Head of Graduate Studies, running a graduate program across three campuses. He returned to the US in 2016 taking up a position as an Investigator at the Los Angeles BioMedical Research Institute and Professor of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He moved to Wash U in the summer of 2018 to join the expanding group of researchers working on Lysosomal Storage Disorders.


  • BSc, Honors, University of Sheffield, UK1986
  • PhD, University of Bristol, UK1990


  • MRC Postdoctoral Training Fellow, University of Cambridge1990 - 1993
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Max-Planck-Institute for Psychiatry1993 - 1996
  • Senior Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California San Francisco & Stanford University1996 - 2000

Honors and Awards

  • Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland Undergraduate Prize1986 - 1987
  • Medical Research Council Postdoctoral Training Fellowship1990 - 1993
  • Human Capital and Mobility Fellowship of the European Commission1994 - 1996
  • Edwin Boldrey Award of the San Francisco Neurological Society for Excellence in Basic Science Neurological Research1999
  • NCL Stiftung Research Award2012
  • Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in Postgraduate Research Education2016
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