Emory Vaccine Center
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
Georgia Research Alliance
Emory Center for AIDS Research
Max D. Cooper (b. 1933), Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, member of the Emory Vaccine Center and the Center for AIDS Research, Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Cooper obtained his medical degree and pediatric residency training from Tulane University Medical School. While at the University of Minnesota from 1963-1967 he worked with Robert A. Good to establish the dual nature of the immune system. With UAB graduate student Paul Kincade, he discovered isotype switching by IgM-producing B cells. While on sabbatical at University College London in 1974, he worked with Martin Raff and John Owen to identify the fetal liver and bone marrow origin of B cells and pre-B cells. His laboratory is involved in studies that explore the use of lamprey monoclonal antibodies for diagnosis and therapy of infectious diseases and lymphoid malignancies. Cooper is an editor of several immunological journals and past president of the Clinical Immunology Society, the American Association of Immunologists and the Kunkel Society.
For many years, my colleagues and I have been engaged in comparative studies of normal lymphocyte development and function with a special emphasis on B lineage cells. We have used this information to study defects of B cell differentiation in individuals with immunodeficiency diseases, lymphoid malignancies and autoimmune diseases. Highlights of our research accomplishments include the delineation of separate T and B cell lineages, identification of the hematopoietic tissue origin of B lineage cells, identification of precursor B cells, demonstration that IgM-bearing B lymphocytes give rise to B cells that switch to the production of other Ig isotypes, initial description of the lymphoid follicle associated epithelial “M” cells in the intestine and their transcytotic function, and discovery of an alternative adaptive immune system in jawless vertebrates featuring antigen receptors generated by the assembly of leucine-rich-repeat sequences during development of T-like and B-like lymphocyte lineages. Current studies focus on evolution of the adaptive immune system, the development of monoclonal lamprey antibodies for biomedical uses, and the immunoregulatory roles of Fc receptor-like molecules (FCRL1-5) expressed by human B cells, with an emphasis on memory B cells. I have mentored five Ph.D students, 17 post-docs, and three undergraduates in the last six years.