Sep. 28, 2023

Emory immunology prize established in honor of Winship researcher Max Cooper, MD

Photo of Emory immunology prize established in honor of Winship researcher Max Cooper, MD

The $100,000 Emory Max Cooper Prize in Immunology is an annual award honoring Winship member Dr. Max D. Cooper, whose historic discoveries have forever changed our understanding of the adaptive immune system.

The newly established $100,000 Emory Max Cooper Prize in Immunology annually celebrates the groundbreaking contributions of Max D. Cooper, MD, a member of the Cancer Immunology Research Program at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, whose transformative research and historic discoveries have forever changed our understanding of the adaptive immune system, including its impact on cancer.

As a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, Cooper is an integral part of the Emory community. Notably, he is a valued member, leader, and researcher with the Emory Vaccine Center, the Center for AIDS Research, and the Winship Cancer Institute, reflecting a commitment to advancing medical knowledge and improving patient outcomes.

“I am excited to hear that Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center has established this award in honor of Dr. Max Cooper, whose fundamental discoveries have transformed our understanding of the immune system,” said Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD, executive director of Winship Cancer Institute.

Max D. Cooper, MD
Max D. Cooper, MD

Cooper gained prominence for his pivotal work in characterizing T cells and B cells, a breakthrough that has catalyzed numerous life-saving advances in both basic research and medicine. His arrival at Emory in 2008 marked a significant chapter in the institution's history, solidifying its position as a hub for groundbreaking immunological research.

In the 1960s, as a young physician-scientist, Cooper, alongside researcher Jacques Miller, made a landmark discovery in chickens. Their identification of two distinct cell lineages in the adaptive immune system, now recognized as T cells and B cells, unveiled the key principles governing the adaptive immune system. This discovery not only contributed to the foundation of modern immunology but also set the stage for advancements with profound implications for cancer research.

In 2019, Cooper's remarkable contributions were acknowledged with the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, a distinguished honor recognizing researchers with contributions that represent major advances in medical science and often precedes a Nobel Prize in Medicine. This award speaks to the profound impact of his research, including that within the realm of cancer immunology. Today, Cooper's laboratory is involved in studies that explore the use of lamprey monoclonal antibodies for diagnosis and therapy of infectious diseases and lymphoid malignancies.

The Emory Max Cooper Prize in Immunology honors a remarkable scientist and celebrates the enduring impact of his work on advancing our understanding of the immune system and its crucial role in combating chronic diseases such as cancer, particularly in the context of Winship's mission to inspire hope through science. The award is open to national and international candidates across the spectrum of immunology. The inaugural prize will be awarded in Fall 2024. For more information or to apply please visit Emory Max Cooper Prize in Immunology | Emory School of Medicine.

In addition to the Lasker Award, Cooper has earned numerous accolades throughout his career, including the Founder’s Award of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine (1966), the Sandoz Prize in Immunology (1990), the American College of Physicians Science Award (1994), the AAI Lifetime Achievement Award (2000), the AAI-Dana Foundation Award in Human Immunology Research (2006), the Avery-Landsteiner Prize (2008), the Robert Koch Prize (2010), and the Japan Prize (2018).

Cascade Link  TOP