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Christopher Cooper

College positions:
Biochemistry, Structural Biology
CHARM Therapeutics
Contact details:

Dr Christopher Cooper

Dr Christopher Cooper is the Director and Head of Protein Sciences at CHARM Therapeutics

Chris joined CHARM Therapeutics, an AI-driven biotech company based at the Babraham Research Campus, as Director and Head of Protein Sciences in 2022. CHARM Therapeutics’ research focuses on novel approaches for cancer drug discovery using protein and ligand co-folding algorithms for hard-to-drug targets. Prior to this, Chris was based in Cheshire as Director of Protein Science at the CRO Peak Proteins.

For most of his career Chris researched the biochemistry and structural molecular biology of DNA repair and replication. He was a Senior Lecturer in Biological Sciences at the University of Huddersfield for 6 years, where his group focused on the genome integrity factors POLQ and POLDIP2, alongside archaeal DNA polymerases and bacterial and human DNA helicases. He performed his postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford, working at the Structural Genomics Consortium and Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, researching the cancer-related DNA repair proteins POLQ, ZRANB3 and ALC1/CHD1L, alongside ETS transcription factors. During this period Chris was also a College Lecturer in Biochemistry at The Queen’s College, and a Junior Research Fellow at Linacre College.

Chris studied Biochemistry at Merton College, Oxford, received his DPhil in Engineering Science from Oxford University (Linacre College), and has an MRes in Bioinformatics from the University of York. Chris is very active in the Biochemical Society, where he is the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Society journal Bioscience Reports and a member of the Industry Advisory Panel, and he is also the Chair of the Prokaryotic Division of the Microbiology Society.

In his spare time Chris is a keen rower, where he currently rows at Isle of Ely RC, but is looking forward to rowing on the Cam with Clare Hall BC!

Select publications

  • Buckley RJ, Lou-Hing A, Hanson KM, Ahmed NR, Cooper CDO, Bolt EL. Escherichia coli DNA helicase Lhr is also a uracil DNA glycosylase. Molecular Microbiology 120 (2), 298–306 (2023)
  • Aithani L, Alcaide E, Bartunov S, Cooper CDO, Doré AS, Lane TJ, Maclean F, Rucktooa P, Shaw RA, Skerratt SE. Advancing Structural Biology Through Breakthroughs in AI. Current Opinion in Structural Biology 80:102601 (2023)
  • Kulik AA, Maruszczak K, Thomas DC, Nabi NLA, Carr M, Bingham RJ, Cooper CDO. Crystal structure and molecular dynamics of human POLDIP2, a multifaceted adaptor protein in metabolism and genome stability. Protein Science 30 (6), 1196-1209 (2021)
  • Jenkins T, Northall SJ, Ptchelkine D, Betts H, Cubbon A, Lever R, Taresco V, Cooper CDO, McHugh P, Soultanos P, Bolt EL. The HelQ human DNA repair helicase utilizes a PWI-like domain for DNA loading through interaction with RPA, triggering DNA unwinding by the HelQ helicase core. NAR Cancer 3 (1) 1-15 (2021)
  • Hewitt G, Borel V, Segura-Bayona S, Takaki T, Ruis P, Bellilli R, Lehmann LC, Sommerva L, Vancevska A, Tomas-Loba A, Zhu K, Cooper CDO, Fugger K, Patel H, Goldstone R, Brough R, Pettitt S, Lord CJ, West SC, Ahel I, Ahel D, Deindl S, Boulton SJ. Defective ALC1-dependent nucleosome remodelling confers PARPi sensitivity and lethality with HRD. Molecular Cell 81, 1-17 (2021)
  • Buckley RJ, Kramm K, Cooper CDO, Grohmann D, Bolt EL. Mechanistic insights into Lhr helicase function in DNA repair. Biochem. J. 477 (16), 2935–2947 (2020)
  • Sebesta M, Cooper CDO, Ariza A, Carnie CJ, Ahel D. Structural insights into the function of ZRANB3 in replication stress response. Nature Communications 8:15847 (2017)
  • Newman JA*, Cooper CDO*, Aitkenhead H, Gileadi O. Structure of the helicase domain of DNA polymerase theta reveals a possible role in the microhomology mediated end joining pathway. Structure 23 (12), 2319-2330 (2015) (*these authors contributed equally)

Select awards

  • EPA Cephalosporin Junior Research Fellowship, Linacre College, University of Oxford (2013 – 2015)

Further links