Vaughn S. Cooper, PhD
Education & Training
- PhD in Zoology/Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Michigan State University, 2000
- AB magna cum laude, Biology, Amherst College, 1994
The mission of the Cooper laboratory is to translate evolutionary biology to improve human health, empower K-12 education, and reveal the origins of biodiversity. Specifically, we study the evolution, ecology, and genome dynamics of experimental and clinical microbial populations. The following questions motivate our work.
- How do microbes adaptively evolve when colonizing eukaryotic hosts or exposed to antimicrobial compounds? Can we predict these dynamics and identify driver mechanisms to guide therapy?
- How do bacteria evolve and form communities within biofilms, especially within infections?
- How does host immunity influence the evolution of antibiotic resistance?
- How does resistance to immunotherapy evolve?
- Why do genome regions replicated at different times evolve at different rates?
- Evolution is best taught by hands-on experimentation. How do we deliver this on a massive scale?
Santos-Lopez A, Marshall CW, Scribner MR, Snyder DJ and Cooper VS. 2019. Evolutionary pathways to antibiotic resistance are dependent upon environmental structure and bacterial lifestyle. Elife. 8: pii: e47612. | View Abstract
Cooper VS, Warren TM, Matela AM, et al. 2019. EvolvingSTEM: a microbial evolution-in-action curriculum that enhances learning of evolutionary biology and biotechnology. Evo Edu Outreach. 12, doi:10.1186/s12052-019-0103-4 | View Abstract
Dillon MM, Sung W, Lynch M and Cooper VS. 2018. Periodic Variation of Mutation Rates in Bacterial Genomes Associated with Replication Timing. MBio: 9: pii: e01371-18. | View Abstract
Silva, IN, Santos PM, Santos MR, Zlosnik JEA, Speert DP, Buskirk SW, Bruger EL, Waters CM, Cooper VS, LM Moreira. 2016. Long-Term Evolution of Burkholderia multivorans During a Chronic Cystic Fibrosis Infection Reveals Shifting Forces of Selection. mSystems. 1: pii: e00029-16. | View Abstract
Traverse CC, Mayo-Smith LM, Poltak SR and Cooper VS. 2013. Tangled bank of experimentally evolved Burkholderia biofilms reflects selection during chronic infections. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 110: E250-E259. | View Abstract