Max Dale Cooper

Robert Koch Award 2010

The Robert Koch Foundation presented the 2010 Robert Koch Award, along with 100,000 euros in prize money, to Professor Dr. Max Dale Cooper, Atlanta, USA.

Professor Cooper, a fundamental researcher in immunology and infection biology at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, was awarded the Robert Koch Medal and prize money in recognition of his pioneering studies into evolution and development of the adaptive immune system in vertebrates. The immunologist has also made a series of discoveries which contribute to understanding how white blood cells (leukocytes) combat infections in the body and how they degenerate in leukaemia (blood cancer) and lymphomas (cancer of the lymph nodes) and attack the patient’s body in autoimmune diseases. Cooper also laid the foundations for much important progress in illuminating infectious diseases and developing vaccines.

Currently, Cooper and his team are studying a new class of antibody-like proteins produced by the immune systems of certain fish, the eel-like lamprey and hagfish. The proteins have unique properties,