phone: (314) 454-6124
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.