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.
- 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
- 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)
- Handley, R. R., Reid, S. J., Brauning, R., Maclean, P., Mears, E. R., Fourie, I., ... McLaughlan, C. J. (2017). Brain urea increase is an early Huntington's disease pathogenic event observed in a prodromal transgenic sheep model and HD cases. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America10.1073/pnas.1711243115
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Renee Handley, Suzanne Reid, Henry Waldvogel, Richard Faull, Russell Snell
- Haley, M. J., Mullard, G., Hollywood, K. A., Cooper, G. J., Dunn, W. B., & Lawrence, C. B. (2017). Adipose tissue, metabolic and inflammatory responses to stroke are altered in obese mice. Disease models & mechanisms10.1242/dmm.030411
- Xu, J., Church, S. J., Patassini, S., Begley, P., Waldvogel, H. J., Curtis, M. A., ... Cooper, G. J. S. (2017). Evidence for widespread, severe brain copper deficiency in Alzheimer's dementia. Metallomics, 9 (8), 1106-1119. 10.1039/c7mt00074j
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Henry Waldvogel, Maurice Curtis, Richard Faull
- Lutteroth, K. R., Harris, P. W. R., Wright, T. H., Kaur, H., Sparrow, K., Yang, S.-H., ... Brimble, M. A. (2017). Incorporation of 'click' chemistry glycomimetics dramatically alters triple-helix stability in an adiponectin model peptide. Organic & biomolecular chemistry, 15 (26), 5602-5608. 10.1039/c7ob01388d
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Margaret Brimble, Sung Hyun Yang, Paul Harris, Harveen Kaur
- Aitken, J. F., Loomes, K. M., Riba-Garcia, I., Unwin, R. D., Prijic, G., Phillips, A. S., ... Ding, K. (2017). Quantitative data describing the impact of the flavonol rutin on in-vivo blood-glucose and fluid-intake profiles, and survival of human-amylin transgenic mice. Data in Brief, 10, 298-303. 10.1016/j.dib.2016.11.077
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Kerry Loomes, Jackie Aitken, Anthony Phillips, Sally Poppitt
- Lachowicz, J. I., Nurchi, V. M., Crisponi, G., Jaraquemada-Pelaez, M. D. G., Caltagirone, C., Peana, M., ... Cooper, G. J. S. (2017). Complex formation equilibria of Cu2+ and Zn2+ with Irbesartan and Losartan. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 97, 158-169. 10.1016/j.ejps.2016.11.010
- Nie, T., Hui, X., Mao, L., Nie, B., Li, K., Sun, W., ... Jiang, B. (2016). Harmine Induces Adipocyte Thermogenesis through RAC1-MEK-ERK-CHD4 Axis. Scientific reports, 610.1038/srep36382
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Shaoping Zhang, Adam Patterson
- Aitken, J. F., Loomes, K. M., Riba-Garcia, I., Unwin, R. D., Prijic, G., Phillips, A. S., ... Ding, K. (2016). Rutin suppresses human-amylin/hIAPP misfolding and oligomer formation in-vitro, and ameliorates diabetes and its impacts in human-amylin/hIAPP transgenic mice. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications10.1016/j.bbrc.2016.11.083
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Kerry Loomes, Sally Poppitt, Anthony Phillips