Our Faculty

Keith R. Cooper, Ph.D.

Deputy Director of Government Relations

Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute

School of Environmental and Biological Sciences

Rutgers University


76 Lipman Avenue, New Brunswick New Jersey 08901

Work Phone: 848-932-5614 (office) 


  • B.S. (Biology), College of William and Mary, 1973
  • M.S. (Marine Biology), Texas A&M University, 1976
  • Ph.D. (Animal Pathology), University of Rhode Island, 1979
  • M.S. (Industrial Toxicology), Thomas Jefferson University, 1981

Research Areas

Xenobiotic metabolism in aquatic animals

Studies are currently examining the effects of endocrine disrupting compounds on finish and bivalve mollusks. The compounds of current interest include dioxin-like compounds and phthalates. The model systems used for these studies include the Japanese Medaka, winter flounder and the American oyster. The research on the finish involves the development of multigenerational studies examining the effects at multiple levels of organization from biochemical to population endpoints. The studies on the American oyster are examining the effects on gonadal development and larval development. Both food web and physiological based pharmacokinetic models are also being developed to better predict chemical movement both in the environment as well as within the organism of concern. The overall research in the laboratory is centered around comparative toxicology.

Research Highlights

  • Toxicity of bisphenol A and its derivatives in the zebrafish embryo model
  • Reproductive neurotoxicity of pyrethroid insecticides
  • Effects of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD) on gametogenesis

Scholarly Activities

Recent Publications

  1. Karas, BF, Hotz, JM, Gural, BM, Terez, KR, DiBona, VL, Côrte-Real, L, Valente, A, Buckley, BT, Cooper, KR. Anticancer Activity and In Vitro to In Vivo Mechanistic Recapitulation of Novel Ruthenium-Based Metallodrugs in the Zebrafish Model. Toxicol Sci. 2021;182 (1):29-43. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfab041. PubMed PMID:33822233 PubMed Central PMC8285015
  2. Karas, BF, Hotz, JM, Buckley, BT, Cooper, KR. Cisplatin alkylating activity in zebrafish causes resistance to chorionic degradation and inhibition of osteogenesis. Aquat Toxicol. 2020;229 :105656. doi: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2020.105656. PubMed PMID:33075613
  3. Cooper, KR, Gleason, JA, Post, GB. Letter. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2020;111 :104503. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2019.104503. PubMed PMID:31704257
  4. Côrte-Real, L, Karas, B, Brás, AR, Pilon, A, Avecilla, F, Marques, F, Preto, A, Buckley, BT, Cooper, KR, Doherty, C et al.. Ruthenium-Cyclopentadienyl Bipyridine-Biotin Based Compounds: Synthesis and Biological Effect. Inorg Chem. 2019;58 (14):9135-9149. doi: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.9b00735. PubMed PMID:31241925
  5. Karas, BF, Côrte-Real, L, Doherty, CL, Valente, A, Cooper, KR, Buckley, BT. A novel screening method for transition metal-based anticancer compounds using zebrafish embryo-larval assay and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry analysis. J Appl Toxicol. 2019;39 (8):1173-1180. doi: 10.1002/jat.3802. PubMed PMID:30963621 PubMed Central PMC6625851
  6. Annunziato, KM, Jantzen, CE, Gronske, MC, Cooper, KR. Subtle morphometric, behavioral and gene expression effects in larval zebrafish exposed to PFHxA, PFHxS and 6:2 FTOH. Aquat Toxicol. 2019;208 :126-137. doi: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2019.01.009. PubMed PMID:30669116 PubMed Central PMC6396680
  7. Côrte-Real, L, Karas, B, Gírio, P, Moreno, A, Avecilla, F, Marques, F, Buckley, BT, Cooper, KR, Doherty, C, Falson, P et al.. Unprecedented inhibition of P-gp activity by a novel ruthenium-cyclopentadienyl compound bearing a bipyridine-biotin ligand. Eur J Med Chem. 2019;163 :853-863. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2018.12.022. PubMed PMID:30579125 PubMed Central PMC6345558

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