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

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Associate Professor, Rheumatology
Rheumatology

phone: (314) 454-6124

Research Interests

The laboratory is focused on mechanisms of immune cell control, including regulation of natural killer cell activation and mechanisms driving pediatric immune-mediated 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 viral infection and also play a role in tumor immunosurveillance. Current work in the laboratory is focused on understanding how metabolic pathways regulate NK cell functional responses. The second focus of our laboratory is on the origins of pediatric immune dysregulation. We use genomic sequencing to identify genetic causes of pediatric disease and work to better understand these diseases using in vitro and in vivo models.

Dr. Cooper is the Director of the Clinical Immunology program and the Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic and Research Center for Primary Immunodeficiencies at St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Work in our laboratory is supported by the National Institutes of Health, The Children's Discovery Institute, the Jeffrey Modell Foundation, the Immune Deficiency Foundation, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, and the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Our research in the news:

Chase's story

Moving towards personalized medicine

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 (34)


1.
Glycolytic requirement for NK cell cytotoxicity and cytomegalovirus control. JCI Insight. 2017;2(23). PMID:29212951 
2.
Low IgE Is Insufficiently Sensitive to Guide Genetic Testing of STAT3 Gain-of-Function Mutations. Clin Chem. 2017;63(9):1539-1540. PMID:28667185 
3.
Azathioprine-Associated Complete NK Cell Deficiency. J Clin Immunol. 2017;37(6):514-516. PMID:28639167 
4.
Mutations in sphingosine-1-phosphate lyase cause nephrosis with ichthyosis and adrenal insufficiency. J Clin Invest. 2017;127(3):912-928. PMCID:PMC5330730  PMID:28165339 
5.
Cytokine-induced memory-like natural killer cells exhibit enhanced responses against myeloid leukemia. Sci Transl Med. 2016;8(357):357ra123. PMCID:PMC5436500  PMID:27655849 
6.
Activation-specific metabolic requirements for NK Cell IFN-γ production. J Immunol. 2015;194(4):1954-1962. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1402099  PMID:25595780 
7.
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 
8.
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 
9.
Hypogammaglobulinemia in pediatric systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus. 2013;22(13):1382-7. doi:10.1177/0961203313507990  PMCID:PMC3840537  PMID:24106215 
10.
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 
11.
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 
12.
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 
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