Nigel Cooper, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

Department of Anatomical Sciences & Neurobiology

Phone: 502-852-1474 E-mail

Neuroscience Website

Research Focus

Dr. Cooper’s research is related to plasticity in the nervous system. His most recent work relates to observations on plasticity in the retina. For example, he has shown that the quantity and quality of synaptic receptor molecules in the retina are altered in response to environmental stimulation, only in a limited period during development. Thus, the composition of retinal NMDA-receptors is altered by light deprivation in neonates but not in adult rats. In a separate but related area of study he has shown that stimulation of NMDA-receptors in the retina can lead to the enhanced transcription of apoptosis-associated genes in amacrine and ganglion cell layers of the retina. The aim of this second focus area is to develop a model for the study of certain neurodegenerative processes, with the hope of uncovering the signal transduction pathway between the stimulus and cell death. With this knowledge the most appropriate sites for neurotherapeutic intervention can be targeted so that neurons can be protected during periods of stress.

Key Publications

Whitaker CM, Cooper NG (2009) The novel distribution of phosphodiesterase-4 subtypes within the rat retina. Neuroscience, July 26 PMID: 19638302. 163(4):1277-1291

Fan W and Cooper N.G.F. (2009) Glutamate-induced NFkB activation in the retina. Invest. Ophthalmol Vis Sci.; 50(2):917-25.

Cooper NG, Laabich A, Fan W, Wang X (2008) The relationship between neurotrophic factors and CaMKII in the death and survival of retinal ganglion cells. Prog Brain Res. 173:521-40. Review.

Lau JM, Cooper NGF, Robinson DL, Korban SS. (2008) Sequence and in silico characterization of the PG promoter and termination regions. Plant Molecular Biology Reporter.

Massey JM, Amps J, Viapiano MS, Matthews RT, Wagoner MR, Whitaker CM, Alilain W, Yonkof AL, Khalyfa A, Cooper NG, Silver J, Onifer SM. (2008) Increased chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan expression in denervated brainstem targets following spinal cord injury creates a barrier to axonal regeneration overcome by chondroitinase ABC and neurotrophin-3. Exp. Neurol. 2008 Feb;209(2):426-45. PMID: 17540369

Cambon AC, Khalyfa A, Cooper NG, Thompson CM (2007) Analysis of probe level patterns in Affymetrix microarray data. BMC Bioinformatics. 4:8(1): 146

Fan W, Li X, Cooper NG (2007) CamKIIaB mediates a survival response in retinal ganglion cells subjected to a glutamate stimulus. IOVS: 48:3854-3863.

Khalyfa A, Buazza M, Qiang H, Xu M, Marshall CT, Roisen FJ, Klueber KM, Cooper NGF (2007) Gene expression profiling for adult human olfactory neuroepithelial-derived progenitors. Gene Ther. Mol. Biol., 11:203-216.

Zhao S, Hu X, Park J, Zhu Y, Zhu Q, Li H, Luo C, Han R, Cooper N, Qiu M. (2007) Selective expression of LDLR and VLDLR in myelinating oligodendrocytes. Dev. Dyn., 236(9):2708-12.

Li J, Liu ZJ, Pan YC, Liu Q, Fu X, Cooper NG, Li YX, Qiu MS, Shi TL. (2007) Regulatory module network of basic/helix-loop-helix transcription factors in mouse brain. Genome Biol., Nov 19; 8(11):R244

Khalyfa A, Chlon T, Qiang H, Agarwak N, Cooper NG. (2007) Microarray reveals complement components are regulated in the serum-deprived rat retinal ganglion cell line. Mol Vis., 13:293-308.

Fan W, Agarwal N, Cooper NG. (2006) The role of CaMKII in BDNF-mediated neuroprotection of retinal ganglion cells (RGC-5). Brain Res., 1067(1):48-57.

Fan W, Agarwal N, Kumar MD, Cooper NG. (2005) Retinal ganglion cell death and neuroprotection: Involvement of the CaMKII alpha gene. Mol Brain Res., 139(2):306-16.

Xue J, Cooper NGF (2001) The modification of NMDA receptors by visual experience in the rat retina is age dependent. Mol Brain Res., 91:196-203.