Portrait of Dr Christopher Cooper Dr Christopher Cooper

View research degree topics that Dr Christopher Cooper might supervise

c.d.cooper@hud.ac.uk | 01484 471736



Following my first degree in Biochemistry at the University of Oxford (Merton College), I moved to the Department of Engineering Science and Linacre College to pursue a PhD/DPhil in molecular microbiology and biochemistry. During this time I developed an interest in DNA replication and repair, studying thermoacidophilic archaea and their DNA polymerases. To pursue my interests in genomics, I then undertook a Masters degree in Bioinformatics at the University of York with a research placement at the University of Uppsala in Sweden.

I subsequently moved into eukaryotic molecular biology, working for 3 years at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences in Oxford. Here I researched microRNA and cancer-testis antigen expression profiles in human lymphomas, cementing my interests in cancer research. I then undertook two postdoctoral positions at the Structural Genomics Consortium (Oxford), working on high-throughput crystallography and biochemistry of human DNA polymerases and helicases involved in genome integrity, SNF2 family members in chromatin remodelling and ETS transcription factors.

I continued to research genome integrity factors in cancer during a short postdoc at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology (Oxford), using structural, biochemical and cell biology approaches to study endonucleases and chromatin remodeling SNF2 ATPases involved in the DNA damage response. During my latter postdoc positions I was appointed as an E.P. Abraham Cephalosporin Junior Research Fellow and a member of the Governing Body at Linacre College, and also as a College Lecturer in Biochemistry at the Queen’s College.

I joined the University of Huddersfield as a Senior Lecturer in Biological Sciences in 2015.

Research and Scholarship

My main focus is to take a multi-disciplinary approach to study proteins involved in the DNA damage response and genome integrity in human cancers, using structural biochemistry and biophysics, molecular cell biology and bioinformatics methodologies. From my previous work I am also interested in the biology of ETS transcription factors and Cancer-Testis antigens. Understanding the basic functions of these molecules at the molecular level will shed light on their roles in cancer development and metastasis, giving the potential to develop novel biomarkers or chemotherapeutic treatments. I am a member of CeBioR (Centre for Biomarker Research) and I receive funding from Kidscan Children’s Cancer Research.

I also have interests in developing novel protein expression and purification systems to facilitate structural and biochemical approaches, and also the biotechnological exploitation of novel DNA metabolising proteins from extremophilic bacteria and archaea.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Sebesta, M., Cooper, C., Ariza, A., Carnie, C. and Ahel, D. (2017) ‘Structural insights into the function of ZRANB3 in replication stress responseNature Communications , 8 (15847). ISSN 2041-1723

Cooper, C. and Marsden, B. (2017) ‘N- and C-Terminal Truncations to Enhance Protein Solubility and Crystallization: Predicting Protein Domain Boundaries with Bioinformatics Tools’. In: Heterologous Gene Expression in E.coli: Methods and Protocols. : Springer. pp. 11-31. ISBN 978-1493968879


Newman, J., Cooper, C., Roos, A., Aitkenhead, H., Oppermann, U., Cho, H., Osman, R. and Gileadi, O. (2016) ‘Structures of Two Melanoma-Associated Antigens Suggest Allosteric Regulation of Effector BindingPLoS ONE , 11 (2), pp. 1-20. ISSN 1932-6203


Newman, J., Cooper, C., Aitkenhead, H. and Gileadi, O. (2015) ‘Structure of the Helicase Domain of DNA Polymerase Theta Reveals a Possible Role in the Microhomology-Mediated End-Joining PathwayStructure , 23 (12), pp. 2319-2330. ISSN 0969-2126

Cooper, C., Newman, J., Aitkenhead, H., Allerston, C. and Gileadi, O. (2015) ‘Structures of the Ets Protein DNA-binding Domains of Transcription Factors Etv1, Etv4, Etv5, and Fev: Determinants of DNA Binding and Redox Regulation by Disulfide Bond Formation.The Journal of Biological Chemistry , 290 (22), pp. 13692-13709. ISSN 1083-351X

Newman, J., Cooper, C., Aitkenhead, H. and Gileadi, O. (2015) ‘Structural insights into the autoregulation and cooperativity of the human transcription factor Ets-2The Journal of Biological Chemistry , 290 (13), pp. 8539-8549. ISSN 1083-351X


Cooper, C., Newman, J. and Gileadi, O. (2014) ‘Recent advances in the structural molecular biology of Ets transcription factors: interactions, interfaces and inhibitionBiochemical Society Transactions , 42 (1), pp. 130-138. ISSN 0300-5127 (print), 1470-8752 (electronic)


Canning, P., Cooper, C., Krojer, T., Murray, J., Pike, A., Chaikuad, A., Keates, T., Thangaratnarajah, C., Hojzan, V., Ayinampudi, V., Marsden, B., Gileadi, O., Knapp, S., von Delft, F. and Bullock, A. (2013) ‘Structural basis for Cul3 protein assembly with the BTB-Kelch family of E3 ubiquitin ligasesThe Journal of Biological Chemistry , 288 (11), pp. 7803-7814. ISSN 1083-351X


Twigg, S., Lloyd, D., Jenkins, D., El�ioglu, N., Cooper, C., Al-Sannaa, N., Annag�r, A., Gillessen-Kaesbach, G., H�ning, I., Knight, S., Goodship, J., Keavney, B., Beales, P., Gileadi, O., McGowan, S. and Wilkie, A. (2012) ‘Mutations in multidomain protein MEGF8 identify a Carpenter syndrome subtype associated with defective lateralizationAmerican Journal of Human Genetics , 91 (5), pp. 897-905. ISSN 1537-6605

Keates, T., Cooper, C., Savitsky, P., Allerston, C., Phillips, C., Hammarstr�m, M., Daga, N., Berridge, G., Mahajan, P., Burgess-Brown, N., M�ller, S., Gr�slund, S. and Gileadi, O. (2012) ‘Expressing the human proteome for affinity proteomics: optimising expression of soluble protein domains and in vivo biotinylationNew Biotechnology , 29 (5), pp. 515-525. ISSN 1876-4347


Cooper, C., Lawrie, C., Liggins, A., Collins, G., Hatton, C., Pulford, K. and Banham, A. (2011) ‘Identification and characterization of peripheral T-cell lymphoma-associated SEREX antigensPLoS ONE , 6 (8), p. e23916. ISSN 1932-6203

Lucic, B., Zhang, Y., King, O., Mendoza-Maldonado, R., Berti, M., Niesen, F., Burgess-Brown, N., Pike, A., Cooper, C., Gileadi, O. and Vindigni, A. (2011) ‘A prominent ?-hairpin structure in the winged-helix domain of RECQ1 is required for DNA unwinding and oligomer formationNucleic Acids Research , 39 (5), pp. 1703-1717. ISSN 0305-1048


Savitsky, P., Bray, J., Cooper, C., Marsden, B., Mahajan, P., Burgess-Brown, N. and Gileadi, O. (2010) ‘High-throughput production of human proteins for crystallization: the SGC experienceJournal of Structural Biology , 172 (1), pp. 3-13. ISSN 1095-8657

Yue, W., Hozjan, V., Ge, W., Loenarz, C., Cooper, C., Schofield, C., Kavanagh, K., Oppermann, U. and McDonough, M. (2010) ‘Crystal structure of the PHF8 Jumonji domain, an Nepsilon-methyl lysine demethylaseFEBS Letters , 584 (4), pp. 825-830. ISSN 0014-5793

Loenarz, C., Ge, W., Coleman, M., Rose, N., Cooper, C., Klose, R., Ratcliffe, P. and Schofield, C. (2010) ‘PHF8, a gene associated with cleft lip/palate and mental retardation, encodes for an Nepsilon-dimethyl lysine demethylaseHuman Molecular Genetics , 19 (2), pp. 217-222. ISSN 0964-6906


Lawrie, C., Cooper, C., Ballabio, E., Chi, J., Tramonti, D. and Hatton, C. (2009) ‘Aberrant expression of microRNA biosynthetic pathway components is a common feature of haematological malignancyBritish Journal of Haematology , 145 (4), pp. 545-548. ISSN 1365-2141


Lawrie, C., Saunders, N., Soneji, S., Palazzo, S., Dunlop, H., Cooper, C., Brown, P., Troussard, X., Mossafa, H., Enver, T., Pezzella, F., Boultwood, J., Wainscoat, J. and Hatton, C. (2008) ‘MicroRNA expression in lymphocyte development and malignancyLeukemia , 22 (7), pp. 1440-1446. ISSN 1476-5551


Lawrie, C., Soneji, S., Marafioti, T., Cooper, C., Palazzo, S., Paterson, J., Cattan, H., Enver, T., Mager, R., Boultwood, J., Wainscoat, J. and Hatton, C. (2007) ‘MicroRNA expression distinguishes between germinal center B cell-like and activated B cell-like subtypes of diffuse large B cell lymphomaInternational Journal of Cancer , 121 (5), pp. 1156-1161. ISSN 0020-7136

Liggins, A., Cooper, C., Lawrie, C., Brown, P., Collins, G., Hatton, C., Pulford, K. and Banham, A. (2007) ‘MORC4, a novel member of the MORC family, is highly expressed in a subset of diffuse large B-cell lymphomasBritish Journal of Haematology , 138 (4), pp. 479-486. ISSN 0007-1048


Sahota, S., Goonewardena, C., Cooper, C., Liggins, A., Ait-Tahar, K., Zojer, N., Stevenson, F., Banham, A. and Pulford, K. (2006) ‘PASD1 is a potential multiple myeloma-associated antigenBlood , 108 (12), pp. 3953-3955. ISSN 0006-4971

Cooper, C., Liggins, A., Ait-Tahar, K., Roncador, G., Banham, A. and Pulford, K. (2006) ‘PASD1, a DLBCL-associated cancer testis antigen and candidate for lymphoma immunotherapyLeukemia , 20 (12), pp. 2172-2174. ISSN 0887-6924

Research Degree Supervision

Funded PhD studentships will be advertised when available, but prospective Masters or PhD students who are self-funded (e.g. through government sponsorship or scholarships) are welcome to approach me informally by email in the first instance.

Current research projects include:

  1. Biochemical, structural and cell biological characterisation of poorly characterized proteins and their complexes, involved in the maintenance of genome integrity particularly in human cancer
  2. Studies on the role of mono- and poly(ADP)-ribosylation in DNA transactions in health and disease
  3. Structural biochemistry of ETS transcription factor complexes and their role in neoplastic transcriptional networks
  4. Isolation, characterization and exploitation of novel enzymes for use in biotechnology
  5. Structural genomics of Borrelia species, an emerging tick-borne pathogen causing Lyme Disease (with Dr. Richard Bingham)

Postgraduate research opportunities with Dr Christopher Cooper



Teaching and Professional Activities

I am module leader for SFB1010 (Research Skills) and SIB2003 (Molecular Biology), teach on SFB1008 (World of Microbes), examine on SHB4003 (Applied Molecular Genetics), and offer research projects for SHB4001/SHB4014 modules. I am also the SWE Placement tutor (SIB2999) for third year placements and the staff liason for HUBS (Huddersfield University Bioscience Society).