Richard Stanley Cooper
Professor and Chair, Public Health Sciences, Loyola Univ. Medical School, Chicago IL
Over the course of my career I have participated in a wide range of biomedical research, including hypertension, genetic epidemiology, clinical outcomes with CVD, trials on salt reduction, large population-based surveys, social epidemiology, and the biology of race, among others. I have likewise mastered the skills required to conduct research in low resources settings and have completed more than 15 major NIH-funded projects in Africa and the Caribbean meeting or exceeding recruitment goals. I have also provided scientific and administrative leadership for training in several pilot research projects.
I have been Chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences at Loyola since 1989, mentoring and supervising trainees and junior faculty. I have collaborated in numerous multi-center research projects like MRFIT, HDFP, FBPP, eMERGE, H3Africa, among others. I have served at both NIH and on National Advisory Council of the NHGRI, I equally took part in discussions of emerging topics in genomics at Council as well as strategic planning meetings.
I wrote the first paper describing the decline in CHD (1), opening a new era of CVD research, and have been funded by the NIH since 1981 to conduct research on coronary heart disease, left ventricular hypertrophy and hypertension in the African diaspora. This work has included 6 African countries, 4 Caribbean countries and the US (2). This was the largest comparative international study of hypertension undertaken at the time and demonstrated the gradient of elevated BP across the diaspora in direct correlation with risk factors. This work placed the issue of hypertension in blacks in an international perspective and I subsequently demonstrated that populations in Northern and Eastern Europe have considerably higher BP’s, fundamentally challenging the notion of genetic predisposition for hypertension among Africans. I also initiated the research on disparities in survival patterns with coronary disease and left ventricular hypertrophy among Africa Americans compared to whites. This research provides a background against which to study the impact of vitamin D on CVD risk.I am a recipient of several honours and awards, including:
- Honors Award, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania, 1967
- Seham Prize, Senior Essay, University of Pennsylvania,1967
- Faculty Gold Key, University of Arkansas, School of Medicine, 1971
- MERIT Award, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, September, 1998
- Scholar, Donald W. Reynolds Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center,1999-2003
- Bernard Pimstone Memorial Lecture, 2006, University of Cape Town,Republic of South Africa
- Robert Wood Johnson Scholar, Health Policy, 2005-2008
- Alvan R. Feinstein Memorial Award in Clinical Epidemiology, American College of Physicians, 2007
- John C. Cassel Memorial Lecture, Society for Epidemiologic Research,2007
- Visiting Chair in Biomedicine, Foundation BBVA, Valencia, Spain, 2008-9
- National Advisory Council, National Human Genome Research
- Institute, National Institutes of Health, 2009-2011
- Senior Scientist of the Year Award, Stritch Loyola Medical School, 2011
- Achievement Award for the Year, Institute of Medicine, Chicago, 2015
- Keynote Address, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, StrategicRetreat, Abuja, Nigeria, 2016
My research interest over the years runs through Epidemiology of cardiovascular diseases, with emphasis on black populations, Hypertension in blacks, Genetic epidemiology of complex diseases, Sickle cell disease.