Professor Andrea Cooper

Professor of Cellular Immunology

School/Department: Respiratory Sciences, Department of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2957



I received my undergraduate degree from University College London and my Doctoral degree from The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine UK where I investigated the interaction between macrophages and protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania.

Moving to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda Maryland USA I expanded my investigation of leishmaniasis to include the T cell response of patients suffering from cutaneous mucocutaneous and visceral forms of this disease.

I then moved to the Mycobacterial Research Labs at Colorado State University and began studying the protective immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Prior to my move to the University of Leicester I was at the Trudeau Institute Inc. for 12 years where I held the E.L. Trudeau Chair which allowed me to study the cellular immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis.


The goal of my programme is to define the factors impacting the expression of immunity in the lung. The underlying themes include:

a. the role of early innate events in driving coordinated immune responses

b. the role of cytokines and chemokines in initiation expression and regulation of immunity

c. the role of lymphocyte priming differentiation and migratory capacity in prolonged expression of immunity

d. the role of the inflamed environment in regulating the expression of immunity

The infection model of choice is mycobacterial challenge through droplet particles to the alveolar tissue in the lung. This model uses a low dose challenge allowing for very early immune-mediated events in the lung tissue to be dissected with regard to kinetics location and the contribution of specific cell types to immunity. There has been a focus on the role of IL-12 IL-23 and IL-17 and the specific role of dendritic cells and lung resident innate lymphocytes in initiation and coordination of the acquired T cell response.

We also have a project examining the peripheral blood antigen-specific response to infections and aligning that response with infection/disease state


  • S A Khader, G K Bell, J E Pearl, J J Fountain, J Rangel-Moreno, G E Cilley, F Shen, S M Eaton, S L Gaffen, S L Swain, R M Locksley, L Haynes, T D Randall and A M Cooper. 2007 IL-23 and IL-17 in establishment of protective pulmonary CD4+ T cell responses upon vaccination and during Mycobacterium tuberculosis challenge. Nature Immunology 8:369-377.
  • Richard T. Robinson, Shabaana A. Khader, Richard M. Locksley, Egil Lien, Stephen T. Smiley, and Cooper AM, 2008. Yersinia pestis evades TLR4-dependent induction of IL12(p40)2 by dendritic cells and subsequent cell migration. Journal of Immunology  181:5560-7
  • Robinson, RT., S.A. Khader, C.A. Martino, J.J. Fountain, M. Teixeira-Coelho, J.E. Pearl, Stephen T. Smiley, G.M. Winslow, D.L. Woodland, M.J. Walter, J.R. Conejo-Garcia, U. Gubler, A.M. Cooper. 2010 Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection induces il12rb1 splicing to generate a novel IL12R1 isoform that enhances DC migration. Journal of Experimental Medicine 207:591-605
  • Cruz A, Fraga AG, Fountain JJ, Rangel-Moreno J, Torrado E, Saraiva M, Pereira DR, Randall TD, Pedrosa J, Cooper AM, Castro AG. Pathological role of interleukin 17 in mice subjected to repeated BCG vaccination after infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Journal of Experimental Medicine 2010 207:1609-1616
  • Pearl JE, Torrado E, Tighe M, Fountain JJ, Solache A, Strutt T, Swain S, Appelberg R, Cooper AM 2012. Nitric oxide inhibits the accumulation of CD4+ CD44hiTbet+CD69lo T cells in mycobacterial infection. European Journal of Immunology 42:3267-3279
  • Macho-Fernandez E, Koroleva EP, Spencer CM, Tighe M, Torrado E, Cooper AM, Fu YX, Tumanov AV. 2014. Lymphotoxin beta receptor signaling limits mucosal damage through driving IL-23 production by epithelial cells. Mucosal Immunology 2014 PMID: 25183367.
  • Kai McKinstry, Tara Strutt, Bianca Bautista, Wenliang Zhang, Yi Kuang, Andrea Cooper, and Susan Swain. 2014. Effector CD4 T cell transition to memory requires late cognate interactions that induce autocrine IL-2. Nature Communications 5:5377
  • Okada S, Markle JG, Deenick EK, et al, Cooper AM, Notarangelo LD, Boisson-Dupuis S, Puel A, Sallusto F, Bustamante J, Tangye SG, Casanova JL. 2015 Impairment of immunity to Candida and Mycobacterium in humans with bi-allelic RORC mutations. Science. 349(6248):606-13 PMID: 26160376.
  • Torrado E, Fountain JJ, Liao M, Tighe M, Reiley WW, Lai RP, Meintjes G, Pearl JE, Chen X, Zak DE, Thompson EG, Aderem A, Ghilardi N, Solache A, McKinstry KK, Strutt TM, Wilkinson RJ, Swain SL, Cooper AM. 2015 Interleukin 27R regulates CD4+ T cell phenotype and impacts protective immunity during Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. Journal of Experimental Medicine. 212(9):1449-63. PMC4548054.
  • Shi L, Salamon H, Eugenin EA, Pine R, Cooper A, Gennaro ML. Infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis induces the Warburg effect in mouse lungs. Science Reports 2015 Dec 10;5:18176..
  • McKinstry KK, Alam F, Flores-Malavet V, Nagy MZ, Sell S, Cooper AM, Swain SL, Strutt TM. Memory CD4 T cell-derived IL-2 synergizes with viral infection to exacerbate lung inflammation. PLoS Pathog. 2019 15(8):e1007989. PMC6693742.
  • Sulman S, Savidge BO, Alqaseer K, Das MK, Nezam Abadi N, Pearl JE, Turapov O, Mukamolova GV, Akhtar MW, Cooper AM. 2021 Balance between protection and pathogenic response to aerosol challenge with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) in mice vaccinated with TriFu64, a fusion consisting of three Mtb Antigens. Vaccines 18;9(5):519; PMC8158147.
  • Pan D, Kim JW, Nazareth J, Assadi S, Bellass A, Leach J, Brosnan JG, Ahmed A, Starcevic F, Sze S, Martin CA, Williams CM, Barer MR, Sahota A, Patel P,
    Tattersall A, Cooper A, Pareek M, Haldar P. Quantification and prognostic significance of interferon-γ secreting SARS-CoV-2 responsive T cells in
    hospitalized patients with acute COVID-19. J Infect. 2022 Mar;84(3):418-467. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2021.11.010. Epub 2021 Nov 19. PMID: 34801527; PMCID:PMC8603398.


  • Immune responses to pathogens
  • Human responses to pathogens
  • Animal models of immune responses in the lung
  • Integration of physiological responses to infection with immunity


School of Biological Sciences - Microbiology.

MB2032 and MB3015 module convenor and lecturer.

BS3X00 Project supervisor and grader.

BS4309 and MB7309 lecturer

Press and media




The scientific method


Membership of advisory Boards

2011-2017 Member Aids Associated Opportunistic Infection and Cancer Study Section NIH.

2017-2021 Board Member Infection and Immunity MRC UK.

2017 Advisory Group WHO Preferred Product Characteristics of new tuberculosis vaccines

2001-2004 Editorial Board Infection and Immunity 2002-2006 Section Editor Journal of Immunology

2006-2011 Editorial Board European Journal of Immunology 2005-2016 Faculty of 1000 contributing Member

2011-2013 Executive Editorial Committee European Journal of Immunology

2013-2017 Deputy Editor Journal of Immunology

2016-present Associate Editor Mucosal immunology 

2016-present Network Management Board - The VALIDATE Network - Vaccine development for complex intracellular neglected pathogens (

2015-present Member -Collaboration for TB Vaccine Discovery (BMGF)(

2021-present Member - Steering Committee TB Vaccine Initiative(  



2007-2009 American Society for Microbiology Branch Lecturer (formerly Waksman Lecturer)

2013-2015 Francis B Trudeau Chair Trudeau Institute Inc. 

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