Laurence Cooper MD, PhD

MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX Section Chief, Cell Therapy, Children’s Cancer Hospital, Division of Pediatrics, Department of Immunology, U.T

Research Focus: Immunotherapy & Cancer Vaccines

Cancer Type: Glioblastoma (Brain Cancer)

Award: Young Investigator

As an Assistant Professor of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA, Dr. Cooper received the 2003 Young Investigator Award for his research in: “Using the Immune System’s T Cells to Treat Leukemia and Lymphoma More Effectively.”

In the 14 years since Dr. Cooper received his first grant from ACGT, his lab has focused on immunotherapy, using the patient’s immune system to directly attack cancer cells.

In 2006, Dr. Cooper joined The University of Texas MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital where his appointments included tenured professor, Pediatrics and Immunology; Section Chief, Cell Therapy Children’s Cancer Hospital; and Associate Director, Center for Cancer Immunology Research.

In 2015, Dr. Cooper was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Ziopharm Oncology where he is helping to advance leading, regulated immune-oncology gene and adoptive CAR T, TCR and NK cell therapies. He has initiated multiple trials under INDs infusing T cells and NK cells. He is undertaking the first protocols using a new approach to gene therapy based upon the Sleeping Beauty transposon/transpoase system and has helped develop clinical-grade artificial antigen presenting cells for numerically expanding and activating lymphocytes. Dr. Cooper has coauthored dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles, abstracts, and book chapters.

According to Dr. Cooper, “By harnessing and enhancing the power of the immune system, adoptive cell therapy holds the promise of curing many cancers. Central to achieving this objective is our ability to solve the puzzle of linking together different proteins, receptors, cell types, gene switches and associated technologies to target a broad spectrum of malignancies.”

For more information, please watch an interview with Dr. Cooper on the importance of harnessing the power of the immune system.

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