Highlights

Professor Matt Cooper is a scientific entrepreneur. He spends half his time in industry within companies that he has founded and half his time in academia.

Professor Cooper is working to help us live longer, quality lives by improving the way we understand and diagnose disease. He is also working to stem the arrival of a ‘superbug crisis', which he refers to as a perfect storm.

When travelling through Asia for three years, Professor Cooper saw that people were dying in alarming numbers from infection. It was a significant source of motivation to pursue his current research. He wanted to help the poor people of the world.

Having a background in chemistry and biology, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge, where scientists and managers were open to research collaboration between industry and academia. Committed to translation, Professor Cooper then commercialised his discoveries. His commitment to translation is evident from his team’s track record.

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Researcher biography

Professor Cooper obtained his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry and B.Sc and Honours Degree (1st Class), from the University of Adelaide, Australia. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof Dudley Williams, at the Cambridge Centre for Molecular Recognition, University of Cambridge, UK; and was a Senior Consultant at Biacore AB (Reporting to CEO) in Sweden. Prof Cooper was also a Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof Chris Abell, Cambridge Centre for Molecular Recognition at the University of Cambridge, UK. He is an NHMRC Australia Fellow and Professor of Chemical Biology at the Institute of Molecular Bioscience, and is an Affiliate Professor in the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biology at The University of Queensland.

Professor Cooper is a scientific entrepreneur with a solid track record of innovation, industry engagement, intellectual property generation, and business development. He was Founder and Managing Director of Cambridge Medical Innovations (now part of Alere Inc.), NHMRC Australia Fellow, Co-founder and CSO of Akubio Ltd (now part of TTP Labtech Ltd.). Professor Cooper has raised >$40m from industrial, government and venture capital sources. He was responsible for positioning of start-up companies and management of multidisciplinary R&D teams with programmes in electronics, physics, materials science, chemistry, microbiology, virology and diagnostics. He is a driver of anti-infective drug discovery programmes with lead compounds pre-clinical and has successfully launched multiple product families to market. Professor Cooper has over 100 publications in high-ranking peer reviewed journals and 20 patents.