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Terrance G. Cooper

Terrance G. Cooper

Harriet S. Van Vleet Professor
University of Tennessee Health Science Centre, USA


Cooper investigated avian oil droplets as an undergraduate, obtained an M.S. in Chemistry studying carboxylase enzyme mechanisms at Wayne State and a Ph.D. at Purdue first discovering that ?-oxidation occurs in peroxisomes rather than mitochondria. With Magasanik at MIT he investigated the mechanism of carbon catabolite repression in E. coli. While there he and Patricia Whitney discovered yeast urea amidolyase to be a multifunctional protein consisting of urea carboxylase and allophanate hydrolase. Moving to the University of Pittsburgh, he and his students elucidated the reactions of the allantoin degradative pathway, proposed nitrogen catabolite repression (NCR) as controlling nitrogen-responsive gene expression and he authored “The Tools of Biochemistry”. Cooper learned the intricacies of yeast genetics from Sye Fogel and cloning from John Carbon. His group identified, mapped, cloned and sequenced the allantoin pathway structural and four GATA-transcriptional regulatory genes. As Harriet S. Van Vleet Professor at the University of Tennessee, he founded and directed the Molecular Resource Center and was chair of Microbiology and Immunology for 15 years. His students identified the promoter structures of the NCR-sensitive genes, binding sites for their four regulatory transcription factors and now the regulatory pathways controlling Gln3 localization and intra-nuclear regulation. He served 17 years on and chaired NIH and ACS study sections, chaired the AAMC Council of Academic Societies, served on the AAMC Executive Committee, multiple editorial boards and as treasurer and American representative to the International Conference of Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology. He is currently a member of the UT Board of Trustees.

Research Interest

Yeast,Microbiology, Immunology, and Biochemistry