Richard Cooper, M.D. ‌joined Loyola University Medical School in 1989 as Chair of The Department of Public Health Sciences. A major research focus of his has been a description of the evolution of cardiovascular disease across the course of the African diaspora. This work has demonstrated the determining role of changing environmental conditions on the evolution of cardiovascular risk status among populations of African descent. An additional dimension to this work has been the use of the tools of genetic epidemiology to explore the pathogenesis of hypertension and obesity. Dr. Cooper has also been an outspoken advocate of the need to incorporate a broad social understanding of race into the interpretation of genetic research on ethnic differences.

 Dr. Cooper received a MERIT award from the NIH in 1998 and has served on numerous advisory and review panels. He is a consultant to the WHO and the CDC on issues related to control of cardiovascular disease in developing countries and is Course Director for an annual training program in sub-Saharan Africa. In the last several years he has written widely on the topic of genetics and race and has been a frequent speaker at professional meetings. He was a member of the National Advisory Council of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NIH) from 2008-2011.

 Sickle cell in Africa is a major focus of Dr. Cooper's research at the present time and he serves as the convener of the AfroSickleNet (ASN). The AfroSickleNet project is a collaboration of investigators in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya, together with research groups in the US, Canada, and Jamaica. The primary goals of the Network are to define the genetic and environmental determinants of the clinical course of sickle cell and promote the implementation of newborn screening programs and better clinical management.

Phone: (708) 327-9010

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Recent publications

  • Lu Y, et al. New loci for body fat percentage reveal link between adiposity and cardiometabolic disease risk. Nature Communications 2016:on line doi:10.1038/ncomms10495

  • Pontzer H, Dugas L, Durazo-Arvizu R, Plange-Rhule J, Schoeller D, Bovet P, Forrester TE, Lambert EV, Cooper RS, Luke A.  Constrained total energy expenditure and metabolic adaptation to physical activity in adult humans. Current Bio 2016:26(3):410-7

  • Dugas LR, Chorell E, Plange-Rhule J, Lambert EV, Cao G, Cooper RS, Layden BT, Scholten D, Olsson T, Luke A, Goedecke JH.  Obesity-related plasma metabolite profiles of black women spanning the epidemiologic transition.  Metabolomics. 2016:12:45

  • Ordunez P, Prieto-Lara E, Gawryszewski P, Hennis A, Cooper RS. Premature mortality from cardiovascular disease in the Americas - will the goal of a decline of "25% by 2025" be met? PLOS One DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0141685 October 29, 2015

  • Echouffo-Tcheugui JB, Kengne AP, Erqou S, Cooper RS. High blood pressure in Sub-Saharan Africa: The urgent Imperative for prevention and control. J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2015 Jul 30. doi: 10.1111/jch.12620  

  • Orcholski L, Luke A, Bovet P, Forrester TE, Lambert EV, Plange-Rhule J, Dugas LR, Kettmann E, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Cooper RS, Schoeller DA.  Under-reporting in self-reported dietary intake in five populations of the African diaspora.  Brit J Nutr 2015:113:464-72.

  • Atiase Y, Farni K, Plange-Rhule J, Luke A, Bovet P, Forrester TE, Lambert EV, Levitt NS, Kliethermes S, Cao G, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Cooper RS, Dugas LR.  A comparison of indices of glucose metabolism in five black populations:  data from modeling the epidemiologic transition study (METS).  BMC Public Health 2015:15:895, 2015. DOI 10.1186/s12889-015-2233-0.

  • Joshi PK et al. Directional dominance on stature and cognition in diverse human populations. Nature.  2015;523:459-62.

  • Osafo C, Raji YR, Burke D, Tayo BO, Tiffin‖ N, Moxey-Mims MM, Rasooly RS, Kimmel PL, Ojo A, Adu A, Parekh RS, and the H3Africa Kidney Disease Research Network Investigators. The H3 Africa Consortium. Human Heredity and Health (H3) in Africa Kidney Disease Research Network: A focus on methods in Sub-Saharan Africa. CJASN. 2015;10(12):2279-87.

  • Mensah GA, Peprah EK, Sampson UK, Cooper RS. H3Africa comes of age. Cardiovasc J Afr 2015;26(2 Suppl 1):S3-S5
  • Pers TH, Karjalainen JM, Chan Y, Westra HJ, Wood AR, Yang J, Lui JC, Vedantam S, Gustafsson S, Esko T, Frayling T, Speliotes EK; Genetic Investigation of ANthropometric Traits (GIANT) Consortium, Boehnke M, Raychaudhuri S, Fehrmann RS, Hirschhorn JN, Franke L. Biological interpretation of genome-wide association studies using predicted gene functions. Nature Commun. 2015 Jan 19;6:5890. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6890.

  • Shoham D, Dugas LR, Bovet P, Forrester TE, Lambert EV, Plange-Rhule J, Schoeller DA, Brage S, Ekelund U, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Cooper RS, Luke A. Association of car ownership and physical activity across the spectrum of human development: Modeling the Epidemiologic Transition Study (METS) BMC Pub Health 2015;15(1):173.

  • Kaufman JS, Dolman L, Dinela R, Cooper RS. The contribution of genomic research to explaining racial disparities in cardiovascular disease: A systematic review. Am J Epidemiol. March 2015;181:464-472.  

  • Huan T, et al. A meta-analysis of gene expression signatures of blood pressure and hypertension. PLOS Genetics DOI:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005035 March 2015.

  • Locke AE, et al. for the GIANT Consortium. Large-scale genetic studies of body mass index provide insight into biological basis of obesity. Nature 2015;518:197-206.

  • Shungin D, Cooper RS et al. New genetic loci link adipocyte and insulin biology to body fat distribution. Nat Genetics 2015;518:187-196 

  • Orcholski L, Luke A, Bovet P, Forrester TE, Lambert EV, Plange-Rhule J, Dugas LR, Kettmann E, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Cooper RS, Schoeller DA.  Under-reporting in self-reported dietary intake in five populations of the African diaspora. Brit J Nutr 2015;113;464-472.

  • Zhu X, Feng T, Tayo BO, Liang J, Young JH, Franeschini N, Smith JA, Yanek LR, Sun YV, Edwards TL, Chen W, Nalls M, Fox E, Sale M, Bottinger E, Rotimi C, the COGENT BP Consortium, Li Y, McKnight B, Liu K, Arnett D, Chakravarti A, Cooper R, Redline S. Meta-analysis of correlated traits using summary statistics from GWAS with an application in hypertension. Am J Hum Genetics 2015;96:21-36.

  • Layden JE, Phillips RO, Owusu-Ofori S, Sarfo FS, Kliethermes S, Mora N, Owusu D, Nelson K Opare-Sem O, Dugas L, Luke Shoham D, Forbi J, Khudyakov YE, Cooper RS. High rate of chronic HCV infection in West Africa and evidence for multiple transmission pathways.  Clin Inf Dis epub 2015

  • Candidate Gene Association Resource (CARe), Shetty PB, Tang H, Feng T, Tayo B, MorrisonAC,. Kardia SR, HanisCL, Boerwinkle E, Rao DC, Cooper RS, Risch N, Zhu X.  Variants for HDL-C, LDL-C and triglycerides identified from admixture mapping and fine-mapping analysis in African-American families. Circ Cardiovasc Genetics. 2015:106-13. doi: 10.1161

  • Dhurandhar NV, Schoeller D, Brown AW, Heymsfield SB, Thomas D, Sorensen TIA, Speakman JR, Jeansonne M, Allison DB and the Energy Balance Measurement Working Group.  Energy balance measurement: when something is not better than nothing. Int J obesity. 2014 . doi: 10.1038/ijo.2014.199  

  • Cooper RS, Forrester TE, Bovet P, Durazo-Arvizu RS, Lambert EV, Plange-Rhule J, Dugas LR, Shoham D, Cao G, Luke A. Elevated hypertension risk for Afro-origin populations in bi-racial societies: Modeling the Epidemiologic Transition Study (METS). J Hypertension 2015;33:473-481

  • Adeoye AM, Adebiyi A, Tayo BO, Salako BL, Ogunniyi A, Cooper RS. Hypertension sub-phenotypes among hypertensive patients in Ibadan. Int J Hypertension 2014:295916.
  • Eckberg K, Kramer H, Wolf M, Durazo-Arvizu R, Tayo B, Luke A, Cooper R. Impact of westernization on fibroblast growth factor 23 levels among individuals of African ancestry. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2014 Oct 30. pii: gfu342