Megan A. Cooper, M.D., Ph.D.  cooper_m@kids.wustl.edu

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Pathology and Immunology
RheumatologyPathobiology

phone: (314) 454-6124

Research Interests

There are two main areas of the Cooper lab, 1) natural killer cell biology, and 2) the immunological basis of pediatric autoimmune disease.Natural killer (NK) cells are innate immune lymphocytes that produce cytokines and can kill target cells. They are important for the early control of infection and also play a role in tumor immunosurveillance. Dr. Cooper recently discovered that NK cells exhibit enhanced responses to re-stimulation, a memory-like property. Current work in the laboratory is focused on understanding the mechanisms by which NK cells acquire memory; the role of NK cell memory during infection; and the homing properties of memory-like NK cells in vivo.The second focus of the laboratory is on the origins of pediatric autoimmune disease. Specifically, we are interested in whether genetic defects lead to altered T cell tolerance and the development of autoimmunity at a young age.Work in the Cooper laboratory is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Child Health Research Center at Washington University, and The Children's Discovery Institute.

Education

  • BA, The College of Wooster1995
  • PhD, The Ohio State University2002
  • MD, Cum Laude, AOA, MD/PhD Fellow, The Ohio State University2004

Training

  • Resident in Pediatrics, St. Louis Children's Hospital, Washington University2004 - 2006
  • Fellowship in Pediatric Rheumatology, Washington University2006 - 2010

Licensure and Board Certification

  • American Board of Pediatrics, General Pediatrics 2007
  • MO, Missouri State Medical License 2010
  • American Board of Pediatrics - Pediatric Rheumatology 2011

Honors

  • National Merit Finalist1991
  • Lewis LaShell Chemistry Scholarship, The College of Wooster1994
  • National Science Foundation Research Undergraduate Fellowship1994
  • Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society1995
  • Bertha Bouroncle Internal Medicine Research Fellowship1998 - 1999
  • 1st Place, Oral Presentation, Landare Day Medical Student Research Forum1999
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Medical Student Research Fellow1999 - 2000
  • American Society of Hematology (ASH) Medical Student Award2001
  • Carroll L. Birch Award, for the best original research paper by a student member of the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA)2001
  • Roche Molecular Biochemicals Distinguished Graduate Seminar Award2001
  • Phi Kappa Phi National Graduate Honor Society2002
  • Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society2003
  • Grant Morrow III, MD, Award for Excellence in Pediatrics, The Ohio State University2004
  • Internal Medicine Research Award, The Ohio State University2004
  • Medical Scientist Award, The Ohio State University College of Medicine2004
  • Watman Achievement Award, Alpha Omega Alpha Society, The Ohio State University2004
  • David Gilstrap Award, Washington University School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics2007
  • Pediatric NIH Loan Repayment Grant (LRP), NIH/NIAID2007 - 2013
  • Scholar of the NIH Child Health Research Center, Washington University Department of Pediatrics2009 - 2013
  • Best Original Basic Science Abstract, Washington University Department of Pediatrics Research Retreat2010
  • Children's Discovery Institute and St. Louis Children's Hospital Faculty Recruit Award2010 - 2015
  • Children’s Discovery Institute of Washington University and St. Louis Children’s Hospital Interdisciplinary Research Award2012 - 2015
  • The American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Early Career Faculty Travel Grant2014
  • “Lecturer of the Month”, St. Louis Children’s Hospital Residency Program, March 20162016
  • Moderator, "Advances in clinical care through whole exome sequencing", American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Meeting, November 15, 2016.2016
  • Moderator, "Immunogenetic Basic Science Symposium", American Society for Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics (ASHI), September 26, 2016.2016
  • Moderator, Guided Poster Tour, 2017 Clinical Immunology Society Meeting, March 25, 2017.2017

Selected Publications view all (28)


Publication Co-Authors

1.
Mesenteric vasculitis in children with systemic lupus erythematosus. Clin Rheumatol. 2016;35(3):785-93. doi:10.1007/s10067-015-2892-3  PMID:25687984 
2.
Activation-specific metabolic requirements for NK Cell IFN-γ production. J Immunol. 2015;194(4):1954-1962. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1402099  PMID:25595780 
3.
Early-onset lymphoproliferation and autoimmunity caused by germline STAT3 gain-of-function mutations. Blood. 2015;125(4):591-599. doi:10.1182/blood-2014-09-602763  PMID:25359994 
4.
Elevated double negative T cells in pediatric autoimmunity. J Clin Immunol. 2014;34(5):594-9. doi:10.1007/s10875-014-0038-z  PMCID:PMC4047151  PMID:24760111 
5.
L-plastin is essential for alveolar macrophage production and control of pulmonary pneumococcal infection. Infect Immun. 2014;82(5):1982-93. PMCID:PMC3993441  PMID:24595139 
6.
Preactivation with IL-12, IL-15, and IL-18 induces CD25 and a functional high-affinity IL-2 receptor on human cytokine-induced memory-like natural killer cells. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2014;20(4):463-73. doi:10.1016/j.bbmt.2014.01.006  PMCID:PMC3959288  PMID:24434782 
7.
Hypogammaglobulinemia in pediatric systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus. 2013;22(13):1382-7. doi:10.1177/0961203313507990  PMCID:PMC3840537  PMID:24106215 
8.
Murine NK cell intrinsic cytokine-induced memory-like responses are maintained following homeostatic proliferation. J Immunol. 2013;190(9):4754-62. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1201742  PMCID:PMC3633638  PMID:23530145 
9.
Cytokine activation induces human memory-like NK cells. Blood. 2012;120(24):4751-60. doi:10.1182/blood-2012-04-419283  PMCID:PMC3520618  PMID:22983442 
10.
Vancomycin-induced DRESS with evidence of T-cell activation in a 22-month-old patient. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2012;109(4):280-1. doi:10.1016/j.anai.2012.07.016  PMID:23010236