Professor Garth James Smith Cooper

DSc (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon), MB, ChB, FRCPA, FRSNZ, FMedSci (London)

Research | Current

Professor Garth Cooper is one of New Zealand’s foremost biological scientists and biotechnology entrepreneurs. He is currently professor of Biochemistry and Clinical Biochemistry at the School of Biological Sciences and the Department of Medicine at the University of Auckland, where he also leads the Proteomics and Biomedicine Research Group. He is a Principal Investigator in the Maurice Wilkins Centre of Research Excellence for Molecular Biodiscovery, a member of the Academy of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and of The Endocrine Society (USA).  He was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (London) in 2013.

In 2017, Professor Cooper was admitted to the Degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) by the University of Oxford. 

Professor Cooper was named North and South New Zealander of the Year (jointly) in 2003, in 2005 as NZ BIO’s inaugural Biotechnologist of the Year and in 2005, his laboratory received international recognition for "overall research excellence in the field of metabolic diseases" with a corporate Frost and Sullivan Global Award. He also received the 2008 KEA World Class New Zealander Award for Biotechnology.

Garth discovered the hormone amylin while pursuing doctoral studies at Oxford University, and developed amylin-replacement therapy for diabetes using an engineered homologue. This led to his founding of Amylin (UK) Ltd and the NASDAQ-listed US biopharmaceutical company, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, which was bought by Astra Zeneca in 2012. He is named as inventor of more than 40 issued US and European patents.

Professor Garth Cooper’s research has led to major advances in the understanding of disease mechanisms in diabetes and related syndromes and based on these mechanisms, to the discovery of several new experimental therapies for these conditions.

Professor Cooper is currently Chairman and a founding member of the Sustainability Council of New Zealand and has served as a member of numerous scientific organizations, including the New Zealand Government’s Biotechnology Taskforce; the Maori Health Committee and the Research Policy Advisory Committee of the Health Research Council (HRC) of New Zealand; and the Scientific Committee of the Heart Foundation of New Zealand. He has also served on committees to recommend the award of the Oxford Nuffield Medical Fellowships, the Wellcome Trust’s International Senior Fellowships, the Logan Campbell Medical Trust grants, Lottery Health (New Zealand) grants and the Girdlers’ HRC Fellowships.

He currently heads with Professor Peter Browett (FMHS), the NZ Amyloid diagnostic service, which through the SBS Proteomics Facility provides a mass spectrometry-based proteomic analysis to enable the provision of amyloid diagnoses to the NZ medical community.

Distinctions/Honours

  • Admitted to the Degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) by the University of Oxford, UK (2017)
  • Elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (London) (2013)
  • 2008 KEA World Class New Zealander Award for Biotechnology (2008)
  • Frost and Sullivan Global Award for Garth's university laboratory for "overall research excellence in the field of metabolic diseases" (2005)
  • NZ BIO’s inaugural Biotechnologist of the Year (2005)
  • North and South New Zealander of the Year (jointly) (2003)

Areas of expertise

Proteomics & Biomedicine

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Chairman and founding member, Sustainability Council of New Zealand
  • Co-Director of the NZ Amyloid Diagnostics Service
  • Member, Academy of the Royal Society of New Zealand
  • Member, The Endocrine Society
  • Past member, New Zealand Government’s Biotechnology Taskforce
  • Past member, Maori Health Committee and the Research Policy Advisory Committee of the Health Research Council (HRC) of New Zealand
  • Past member, Scientific Committee of the Heart Foundation of New Zealand
  • Past member on committees to recommend the award of the Oxford Nuffield Medical Fellowships, the Wellcome Trust’s International Senior Fellowships, the Logan Campbell Medical Trust grants, Lottery Health (New Zealand) grants and the Girdlers’ HRC Fellowships

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

Identifiers

Contact details

Primary office location

OLD CHORAL HALL - Bldg 104
Level 1, Room 129
7 SYMONDS ST
AUCKLAND 1010
New Zealand

Web links