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Dr. Richard Cooper Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Loyola University of Chicago Stitch School of Medicine

Dr. Cooper is a cardiovascular epidemiologist with a long-term interest in hypertension and related conditions in populations of African origin. He received training in preventive cardiology and epidemiology. His work has involved both clinical studies and population based research.

Dr. Cooper joined Loyola University Medical School in 1989 as chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology. A major research focus of the department has been a description of the evolution of cardiovascular disease across the course of the African diaspora. Over 20,000 participants have been recruited in community-based studies in West Africa (Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana), the Caribbean (Barbados, St. Lucia and Jamaica) and metropolitan Chicago. This work has demonstrated the determining role of changing environmental conditions on the evolution of cardiovascular risk status among populations of African descent.

In the last several years, dr. Cooper has developed a program in genetic epidemiology and has been involved in a series of gene mapping studies. These projects have subsequently coalesced into an interest in the significance of molecular genetics for variation in common disease among races and the clinical significance of genetics for decision making based on race.