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Priscilla Cooper

biologist: Biosciences

Media contact: Dan Krotz, 510-486-4019,


Priscilla K. Cooper is a Senior Scientist in the Life Sciences Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), where she heads the Department of Cancer and DNA Damage Responses. She is also a member of the University of California San Francisco Hellen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.  She has a career-long interest in the biochemical and molecular basis for cellular processing of damaged DNA and the genetic control of DNA repair processes for mutation avoidance and maintenance of genomic integrity. Her undergraduate training was in biology at the University of Rochester, where she received the Janet Howell Clark Award for outstanding woman science graduate. She earned her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at Stanford University, investigating mechanisms of nucleotide excision repair in E. coli and its SOS regulation. Following postdoctoral training in the Stanford University School of Medicine, she was recruited to LBNL in the early 1980’s.

Recent research

Her current research focus is on the relationship between repair of oxidative DNA damage and normal DNA transactions (replication and transcription) in human cells, with emphasis on connections between genetic defects in repair of endogenous damage, cancer, and aging. Her laboratory integrates a combination of approaches including protein biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, and structural biology to carry out structure-function analyses of critical multi-protein complexes functioning in DNA repair. She has participated in organization of numerous major scientific conferences in the DNA repair field and has served in a number of leadership and advisory positions, and she is a Past-President of the Environmental Mutagenesis Society. She has a strong commitment to increasing appreciation and understanding of basic research among undergraduates and to fostering diversity in science.


Awards and Memberships

Past President of the Environmental Mutagen Society


Ph.D., Biological Sciences, Stanford University

B.S., Biology, University of Rochester

last updated: 2017-08-04 10:31:33