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The William Harvey Research Institute - Barts and The London

Dr Diane Cooper

ARUK Senior Investigator

Centre: Biochemical Pharmacology

Telephone: +44(0) 20 7882 5644


Dianne Cooper graduated in Anatomy and Cell Biology from the University of Sheffield in 1995; a Masters degree and PhD followed this from the University of Bradford in 2000. The focus of her PhD was stress-activated signalling pathways in endothelial cells during inflammation. In 2001 Dr Cooper moved to Shreveport, Louisiana to complete a two-year post-doctoral post in the laboratory of Dr Neil Granger. During this time she worked on platelet-leukocyte interactions in the microcirculation in models of endotoxaemia and ischaemia-reperfusion injury. A key finding during this time being that the majority of platelets recruited within inflamed post-capillary venules are bound to adherent leukocytes within the vessel. Dr Cooper moved to the William Harvey Research Institute and the Centre for Biochemical Pharmacology in 2003 where she was awarded a non-clinical career development fellowship from Bart’s and The London Charity. During this time Dr Cooper’s research focused on the biology of galectins, a family of carbohydrate binding proteins endowed with potent immuno-regulatory properties. In 2007 Dr Cooper was awarded a 5 year Arthritis Research-UK Career Development Fellowship to further her studies on the role of galectins in inflammatory arthritis. 


Group members

PhD students: Miss Rachael Wright, Miss Beatrice Gittens


Role of galectins in inflammation
My research focuses on understanding the function of a family of carbohydrate binding proteins, known as galectins, during an inflammatory response. The focus is to understand how galectin expression within the vasculature is regulated during inflammation and how this altered expression regulates leukocyte trafficking in the microcirculation. To date my research has identified an inhibitory role for Galectin-1 in neutrophil and lymphocyte recruitment during acute inflammation. This research is now being expanded to include more complex models of inflammation in order to understand the function of galectins in pathologies such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Specific projects include:

  • Understanding the role of Galectin-1 in inflammatory arthritis. This project forms the basis of an Arthritis Research UK funded fellowship.
  • Role of Galectin-3 in leukocyte trafficking This project forms the basis of a British Heart Foundation funded PhD studentship and aims to address the role of Gal-3 in the trafficking of different leukocyte subsets during acute inflammation. 
  • Are galectins protective in osteoarthritis This project, in collaboration with Dr Tina Chowdhury, aims to address the role of galectins in osteoarthritis. 

Key Publications

For a full list of publications click here

  • Iqbal A*, Cooper D*, Vugler A, Moore A, Perretti M. Endogenous galectin-1 exerts tonic inhibition on experimental arthritis. Annals of Rheumatic Disease: under review. *share first authorship.
  • Rhodes D, Pini M, Castellanos K, Montero-Melendez T, Cooper D, Perretti M, Fantuzzi G. Adipose tissue-specific modulation of galectin expression in lean and obese mice: evidence for regulatory functions. Obesity. In Press.
  • Nadkarni S, Cooper D, Brancaleone V, Bena S, Perretti M. Activation of the annexin A1 pathway underlies the protective effects exerted by estrogen in polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2011 Nov;31(11):2749-59. PubMed PMID: 21836070; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3357483.
  • Iqbal AJ, Sampaio AL, Maione F, Greco KV, Niki T, Hirashima M, Perretti M, Cooper D. Endogenous galectin-1 and acute inflammation: emerging notion of a galectin-9 pro-resolving effect. Am J Pathol. 2011 Mar;178(3):1201-9. PubMed PMID: 21356371; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3069826.
  • Pederzoli-Ribeil M, Maione F, Cooper D, Al-Kashi A, Dalli J, Perretti M, D'Acquisto F. Design and characterization of a cleavage-resistant Annexin A1 mutant to control inflammation in the microvasculature. Blood. 2010 Nov18;116(20):4288-96. PubMed PMID: 20705760.
  • Yazid S, Leoni G, Getting SJ, Cooper D, Solito E, Perretti M, Flower RJ. Antiallergic cromones inhibit neutrophil recruitment onto vascular endothelium via annexin-A1 mobilization. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2010 Sep;30(9):1718-24. PubMed PMID: 20558817.
  • Spite M, Norling LV, Summers L, Yang R, Cooper D, Petasis NA, Flower RJ, Perretti M, Serhan CN. Resolvin D2 is a potent regulator of leukocytes and controls microbial sepsis. Nature. 2009 Oct 29;461(7268):1287-91. PubMed PMID:19865173; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2779525.
  • Dalli J, Norling LV, Renshaw D, Cooper D, Leung KY, Perretti M. Annexin 1 mediates the rapid anti-inflammatory effects of neutrophil-derived microparticles. Blood. 2008 Sep 15;112(6):2512-9. Epub 2008 Jul 1. PubMed PMID:18594025.
  • Cooper D, Norling LV, Perretti M. Novel insights into the inhibitory effects of Galectin-1 on neutrophil recruitment under flow. J Leukoc Biol. 2008 Jun;83(6):1459-66. PMID: 18372340.
  • Norling LV, Sampaio AL, Cooper D, Perretti M. Inhibitory control of endothelial galectin-1 on in vitro and in vivo lymphocyte trafficking. FASEB J. 2008 Mar;22(3):682-90.: 17965266.


Internal: Prof Tim Warner (Blizzard); Prof Shu Ye (WHRI); Dr Robin Poston (WHRI); Dr Tina Chowdhury (SEMS); Dr Egle Solito (WHRI).
External: Prof Mitsuomi Hirashima (Kagawa University, Japan); Dr Toshiro Niki (GalPharma Inc., Japan).