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Scott Cooper

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Scott Cooper



Specialty area(s)

Effects of hibernation on blood clotting in 13-lined ground squirrels.

Brief biography

I began teaching at UWL in 1995. I am currently a full professor in biology with a 50% appointment as the director of Undergraduate Research and Creativity.

Current courses at UWL

Radiation Biology BIO 333
Molecular Biology BIO 435
Molecular Biology Lab BIO 436
Bioinformatics BIO 440
Molecular Mechanisms of Drugs and Disease Action BIO 443
Triathlon ESS 100


B.S. Biochemistry - Michigan State University, 1986

Ph.D. Biochemistry - University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1992

Post-Doc Pathology - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1993-1995


Teaching history

Molecular Biology lecture consists of four sections: central dogma, regulation of gene expression, cellular processes, and current topics in molecular biology.  Another focus of the course is in learning how to read primary literature.

In Molecular Biology Lab students work on two projects that are part of the research programs of other faculty in biochemistry or cell and molecular biology. This allows the students to participate in a real research experiment. This also exposes them to several aspects of biotechnology research; CRISPR, QPCR, site directed mutagenesis, cloning, and computer modeling. The students write their results in a peer-reviewed journal format.

Bioinformatics is a team taught course that focuses on the many applications of bioinformatics and the theoretical algorithms underlying these computer programs. There are four sections to the course; Databases, Phylogenetics, Genomics and Proteomics.

Molecular Basis of Disease and Drug Action examines the biological basis of many non-infectious and non-cancerous diseases and the drugs used to treat them. For each disease the students are given three perspectives; pathology, pharmacology and clinical. This course is team taught by Scott Cooper (pathology), Aaron Monte (pharmacology) and several M.D.s from local hospitals (clinical). There are five units in the course; Pathology and Pharmacology, Inflammation, Cardiovascular, Neurological, and Genetics. Students also give oral presentations on assigned diseases.

Radiation Biology is a course primarily for nuclear medical technology (NMT) and radiation therapy (RT) majors. It focuses on the effects of radiation on biological systems. The lab involves both exploring the properties of radiation, and the effects of radiation on biomolecules and cells.

Professional history

My research focuses on the effects of hibernation on blood clotting. Ground squirrels that hibernate have increased blood clotting times to prevent clots from forming as their hearts slow and blood pressure drops. We are trying to understand how the squirrels regulate primary and secondary hemostasis to accomplish this. I typically have 6-8 teams of 3-4 students working on different aspects of this project.  This research is funded by the NIH.

Research and publishing

  1. Bonis A, Anderson L, Talhouarne G, Schueller E, Unke J, Krus C, Stokka J, Koepke A, Lehrer B, Schuh A, Andersen JJ, Cooper S. Cardiovascular resistance to thrombosis in 13-lined ground squirrels. Journal of Comparative Physiology B, 2018
  2. Cooper, S., Lloyd, S., Koch, A., Lin, X., Dobbs, K., Theisen, T., Zuberbuehler, M., Bernhardt, K., Gyorfi, M., Tenpas, T., Hying, S., Mortimer, S., Lamont, C., Lehmann, M., Neeves, K. Temperature effects on the activity, shape, and storage, of platelets from 13-lined ground squirrels.  Journal of Comparative Physiology B, 187(5), 815-825, 2017.
  3. Cooper, S.T., S.S. Sell, M. Fahrenkrog, K. Wilkinson, D.R. Howard, H. Bergen, E. Cruz, S.E. Cash, M.T. Andrews, and M. Hampton, Effects of hibernation on bone marrow transcriptome in thirteen-lined ground squirrels. Physiol Genomics:
  4. Blake W. Sauey, Jon J. Amberg, Scott T. Cooper, Sandra K. Grunwald, Roger J. Haro & Mark P. Gaikowski, Digestive physiology comparisons of aquatic invertebrates in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. Freshwater Ecology 2016
  5. Cooper, S., Sell, S., Nelson, L., Hawes, J., Benrud, J. A., Kohlnhofer, B. M., Burmeister, B. R.’ Flood, V. H., Von Willebrand factor is reversibly decreased during torpor in 13-lined ground squirrels. J Comp Physiol B, 186(1), 131-139, 2015.
  6. Cooper ST, Richters KE, Melin TE, Liu ZJ, Hordyk PJ, Benrud RR, Geiser LR, Cash SE, Simon Shelley C, Howard DR, Ereth MH, Sola-Visner MC. The hibernating 13-lined ground squirrel as a model organism for potential cold storage of platelets.  Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 302(10), pp 1202-8, 2012.
  7. Patrick R. Gonzales, Timothy D. Walston, Laureano O. Camacho, Dana M. Kielar, Frank C. Church, Alireza R. Rezaie, Scott Cooper. Mutation of the H-helix in Antithrombin Decreases Heparin Stimulation of Protease Inhibition. BBA Proteins and Proteomics, 1774 (11), pp 1431-1437,



Scott Cooper, Biology, received a $335,000 National Institutes of Health grant to do research on blood clotting in hibernating 13-lined ground squirrels. The grant, "Mechanism of Cold Storage Lesion Resistance in Hibernating Ground Squirrel Platelets" will run from 2023-2026.

Submitted on: Aug. 31, 2023


Scott Cooper, Biology, authored the article "Hibernation and Hemostasis" in Frontiers in Physiology and was accepted for publication by Frontiers in Physiology. A review article written with three colleagues in the Netherlands summarizing research on blood clotting adaptations is a variety of hibernating animals. 10.3389/fphys.2023.1207003

Submitted on: Aug. 28, 2023


Scott Cooper, Biology, presented "From Burrow to Bedside: Blood Clotting in Hibernating Ground Squirrels" at BloodWorks Research Institute on Jan. 13 in Seattle, Washington.

Submitted on: Jan. 19, 2023


Scott Cooper, Biology, presented "From Burrow to Bedside: Blood Clotting in Hibernating Ground Squirrels" at University of British Columbia on Jan. 11 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Submitted on: Jan. 19, 2023


Scott Cooper, Biology, received the award for Star Reviewer from American Physiological Society. Recognition of reviewers who consistently go above and beyond by providing an extraordinary number of reviews and/or particularly timely reviews in each year. The star reviewers are chosen by the Editors-in-Chief to recognize their outstanding service to the journal.

Submitted on: Sept. 19, 2022