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Edwin Cooper

Biologist and immuno-biology professor Edwin Cooper was born on December 23, 1936, in Houston, Texas. Cooper attended Jack Yates High School, graduating with honors in 1957. He won the first prize in a state art contest, for which his ceramic vase was sent to the national competition at the Carnegie Art Institute. Although Cooper was interested in art, he was more attracted to the field of biology, studying butterflies, earthworms, and other animals as a youth. Cooper pursued his interest in biology at Texas Southern University, where he earned his B.S. degree in 1957 with honors. Continuing his studies in biology, Cooper earned his M.S. degree in biology from Atlanta University in 1959 and his Ph.D. degree from Brown University in 1963.

Upon completing his doctorate, he became an assistant professor of anatomy at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine in 1964 and attained full professorship by 1973. Cooper taught immunology around the world, beginning with an exchange program (sponsored by the Agency for International Development) with the Instituto Politecnico Nacional in Mexico City, Mexico. He later received a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship to the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden in 1970, while maintaining his position at UCLA. Cooper founded the Division of Comparative Immunology of the American Society of Zoologists in 1975 and was a founding editor of the International Journal of Developmental and Comparative Immunology, and its society, the International Society of Developmental and Comparative Immunology. He has founded similar national groups in Japan and Italy. From 1989 to 1993, Cooper served as the vice chair for UCLA’s Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. He became the founding editor in chief of "Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine" in 2004.

Throughout his professional career, Cooper’s research has been at the forefront of the discoveries made in the field of immunobiology, better known as comparative immunology following the publication of the first textbook and many others related to comparative immunology: he is credited with having established that discipline. His research on invertebrate immune systems and the evolution of immune systems has been published in several immunology journals including the Journal of Biological Chemistry and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. From studying chronic allograft rejection in earthworms to the identification of characteristics of the fish, amphibians and other invertebrates, Cooper shifted the focus of his work to better understand vertebrate and human disease. The products of terrestrial and marine invertebrates are useful in certain diseases as was discovered in ancient cultures like in China and India.

The impact of Cooper’s work has been recognized; Cooper has received five honorary degrees internationally, including one from his alma mater, Brown University, in 1988. He has also been awarded other international prizes in the sciences, such as the Alexander von Humboldt Prize in Germany, The Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Cancer Research to work with the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Switzerland, and the S.M. Nabrit Achievement Award in Science from Atlanta University.

Cooper and his wife, Helene, have two adult children.

Edwin Cooper was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 27, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.033

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/27/2011 |and| 11/30/2012

Last Name

Cooper

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

L.

Schools

Jack Yates High School

Texas Southern University

Clark Atlanta University

Brown University

Charles W. Luckie Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Edwin

Birth City, State, Country

Oakland

HM ID

COO10

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Everyday

Favorite Quote

If You Aim Low You Can't Fall, If You Aim High, You Have A Place To Fall.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

12/23/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Biologist and biology professor Edwin Cooper (1936 - ) was a leader in the fields of invertebrate immune systems and comparative immunology. He conducted research at the University of California, Los Angeles for more than forty years.

Employment

University of California, Los Angeles

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Edwin Cooper's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Edwin Cooper shares his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Edwin Cooper talks about his mother's side of the family, part 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Edwin Cooper talks about his mother's side of the family, part 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Edwin Cooper talks about his mother's desire to go to college

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Edwin Cooper talks about his father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Edwin Cooper discusses his great-grandfather's involvement in the Civil War

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Edwin Cooper talks about his great-grandfather, a Methodist minister

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Edwin Cooper talks about his paternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Edwin Cooper talks about his father's loving to work with his hands

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Edwin Cooper talks about how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Edwin Cooper talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Edwin Cooper talks about which parent he takes after most

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Edwin Cooper shares a story about his birth

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Edwin Cooper shares his opinion on healthy diets from a biologist's perspective

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Edwin Cooper talks about his childhood interest in animals

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Edwin Cooper describes the schools he attended in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Edwin Cooper describes his neighborhood in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Edwin Cooper talks about his childhood activities and academics

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Edwin Cooper recalls the radio programs he listened to as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Edwin Cooper talks about his educational influences

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Edwin Cooper discusses race relations in his Houston community

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Edwin Cooper talks about his high school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Edwin Cooper talks about his interest in art

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Edwin Cooper recalls his influences at Texas Southern University and Atlanta University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Edwin Cooper explains his parallel interests in biology and art

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Edwin Cooper describes his master's thesis in developmental biology

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Edwin Cooper relates his graduate school experience at Atlanta University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Edwin Cooper talks about his experience at Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Edwin Cooper recalls his experience at Brown University during his Ph.D. studies

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Edwin Cooper discusses his interest in comparative immunology

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Edwin Cooper discusses the importance of studying primitive animal systems

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Edwin Cooper talks about his family's pride in his academic achievements

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Edwin Cooper talks about his experience as a faculty member at UCLA

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Edwin Cooper describes his connections with Mexico

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Edwin Cooper discusses his experience publishing papers in the field of comparative immunology

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Edwin Cooper's interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Edwin Cooper talks about his first book being republished without permission

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Edwin Cooper describes the changes at the UCLA School of Medicine

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Edwin Cooper recalls the controversy of pioneering comparative immunology

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Edwin Cooper describes the role of the thymus in the generation of immune response

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Edwin Cooper describes his discovery of immune responses in primitive invertebrates

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Edwin Cooper recalls pursuing his research interests at the University of California, Los Angeles

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Edwin Cooper describes the reception of his research outside of the United States

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Edwin Cooper remembers the creation of the journal, Development and Comparative Immunology

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Edwin Cooper recalls his research fellowships

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Edwin Cooper talks about his research laboratory choices

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Edwin Cooper describes the meetings of the International Society for the Development of Comparative Immunology

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Edwin Cooper recalls editing 'Animal Models of Comparative and Development Aspects of Immunity and Disease'

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Edwin Cooper recalls working with Agustin Zapata

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Edwin Cooper talks about writing 'Comparative Histophysiology of the Immune System' with Agustin Zapata

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Edwin Cooper remembers his work in Scandinavian countries

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Edwin Cooper talks about visits from international researchers

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Edwin Cooper recalls his Fulbright Fellowship to Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Edwin Cooper recalls his scientific work internationally

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Edwin Cooper talks about innate and adaptive immune systems, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Edwin Cooper talks about innate and adaptive immune systems, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Edwin Cooper describes his presidency at the American Society of Zoologists

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Edwin Cooper talks about the discovery of the cytotoxic T cell receptor by Leroy Hood

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Edwin Cooper talks about serving as vice chairman of the department of anatomy and cell biology at UCLA, School of Medicine

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Edwin Cooper describes the interpersonal challenges he faced as a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Edwin Cooper describes the discovery of peptides' role in MHC class II structure

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Edwin Cooper talks about the extensive publication of his research

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Edwin Cooper describes immune toll-like receptors

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Edwin Cooper recalls his work with tunicates

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Edwin Cooper recalls his research on soil pollution's effects on earthworms

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Edwin Cooper describes the use of leeches and maggots in the removal of dead tissue

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Edwin Cooper talks about the anti-microbial properties in honey

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Edwin Cooper remembers creating the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Edwin Cooper describes the importance of evidence based complimentary remedies

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Edwin Cooper talks about the use of lumbrokinase for dissolving blood clots

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Edwin Cooper remembers changing publishers for Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Edwin Cooper describes the restrictions for accepting publications in 'Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine'

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Edwin Cooper describes his opinions on the use of medical marijuana

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Edwin Cooper describes the United States' lack of preparation to care for its aging population

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Edwin Cooper talks about centenarians and aging

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Edwin Cooper talks about the scientific study of centenarians

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Edwin Cooper describes aspirin's natural origins

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Edwin Cooper talks about the treatment of emeritus professors

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Edwin Cooper reflects upon his life

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Edwin Cooper reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Edwin Cooper talks about his family, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Edwin Cooper talks about his family, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Edwin Cooper describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Edwin Cooper narrates his photographs