Professor Cooper is currently Professor of Rheumatology and Director of the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit; Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton; and Professor of Epidemiology at the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford.
Professor Cooper graduated from the University of Cambridge and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London in 1980, and completed his residency in 1985 at the Southampton University Hospitals. In 1990, he won an MRC Travelling Fellowship to the Mayo Clinic, USA, where he continued his research in osteoporosis. He returned to the UK in 1992 to take up a position as Senior Lecturer in Rheumatology and MRC Senior Clinical Scientist. In 2003 he was appointed Director of the MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre, University of Southampton. In 2010, this was reconfigured as the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit.
Professor Cooper leads an internationally competitive programme of research into the epidemiology of musculoskeletal disorders, most notably osteoporosis.
Professor Cooper leads an internationally competitive programme of research into the epidemiology of musculoskeletal disorders, most notably osteoporosis. His key research contributions have been:
- discovery of the developmental influences which contribute to the risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture in late adulthood;
- demonstration that maternal vitamin D insufficiency is associated with sub-optimal bone mineral accrual in childhood;
- characterisation of the definition and incidence rates of vertebral fractures;
- leadership of large pragmatic randomised controlled trials of calcium and vitamin D supplementation in the elderly as immediate preventative strategies against hip fracture.