Liz Cooper, Ph.D.

Bioinformatics and Genomics
Assistant Professor
NC Research Campus

Dr. Elizabeth Cooper received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Southern California in 2011, then worked as a postdoctoral associate at the University of Miami from 2011 to 2014.  Afterwards, she became a research associate and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Clemson University, before joining the Department of Bioinformatics and Genomics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2018.  Dr. Cooper is interested in using big data and high throughput sequencing to identify the genomic changes that lead to species diversification and adaptation, and subsequently integrating these evolutionary concepts into applied areas of agriculture and public health.  Much of the current work in Dr. Cooper’s lab is centered around generating genomic resources and pipelines to dissect complex traits in the cereal crop Sorghum bicolor, but both her past and present research has always included a wide array of different species to better understand broader evolutionary principles and how we can apply them. 

Most recently, Dr. Cooper has begun collaborating with researchers at the USDA to look at the population genomics of mosquito vector species in order to better understand how past adaptations and expansions have shaped the distribution of these dangerous carriers of disease, and to try and use this information to predict future species expansions that may pose a risk to both human health and livestock.