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Julia Cooper Named Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

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Julia Cooper Named Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

Author School of Medicine | Publish Date September 19, 2019

Julia P. Cooper, PhD, has been named chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics by the University of Colorado School of Medicine, effective March 1, 2020.

Cooper is the head of the Telomere Biology Section of the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research. Her laboratory studies the mechanisms by which chromosome integrity is maintained starting at the telomere, which is the nucleoprotein complex that forms and protects the end of the chromosome.

Cooper earned her undergraduate degree in biology from Emory University in 1983 and her PhD in biochemistry/biophysics/genetics from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 1989.

“We are fortunate to have a
leader and investigator as
accomplished as Julie joining
us at the CU School of
Medicine.” - Dean John J. Reilly

She completed postdoctoral training with the National Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases; the University of Colorado Boulder (Howard Hughes Medical Institute); and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London. During her postdoctoral fellowships, Cooper worked in the laboratories of two Nobel Prize winners: Thomas Cech, PhD, at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Sir Paul Nurse at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.

From 1997 to 2002, Cooper was an assistant professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, as it was known prior to combining administrative structure with the University of Colorado Denver, and prior to the health professional schools moving to the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. In 2002, Cooper joined Cancer Research UK in London, where she ran her lab for 12 years before joining the National Cancer Institute in 2013.

“We are fortunate to have a leader and investigator as accomplished as Julie joining us at the CU School of Medicine,” said Dean John J. Reilly, Jr., MD. “We look forward to welcoming her back home to CU and to her leadership and research contributions to the outstanding work already underway on the Anschutz Medical Campus.”