Cooper Lab

There are two main areas of our 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. We 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 our 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 our laboratory is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Child Health Research Center at Washington University, The Children's Discovery Institute, and The Scleroderma Foundation.

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