Cooper earned a B.S. in Biology (1984) from South Dakota State University, a M.S. in Biology (2001) from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences (2006) from the University of New Mexico.
Cooper's primary research interests are in the toxicity of metals and combinations of metals in a variety of cells types (keratinocytes, melanocytes and kidney cells), animal models and human population studies. I am specifically interested in mechanisms of the inhibition of DNA damage repair by these environmental toxicants. I am currently investigating the disruption of zinc finger containing DNA repair enzymes by metals and the potential intervention by dietary zinc.