Brian Y. Cooper, Ph.D.

Division of NeuroscienceBrian Y. Cooper

Professor, Research Division Director

Phone: 352-273-6763


  • Ph.D., University of Iowa, 1980

Main Interests

Our laboratory is interested in pain and inflammation. We study the properties of sensory afferents (nociceptors) that transduce the mechanical, thermal and chemical events that are perceived as painful. Afferent cell bodies are isolated from sensory ganglia of rats and placed in a small petri dish. Small glass electrodes fuse with the cell body and enable us to study the currents induced by pro-inflammatory agents. These agents both activate nociceptors and induce plastic changes that are important in inflammatory pain. We examine the specific influences of agents on different classes of nociceptors and how each may influence nociceptor plasticity.


Petruska, J.C, Napaporn, J., Johnson, R. D., and Cooper, B.Y. Chemical responsiveness and histochemical phenotype of electrophysiologically classified cells of the adult rat dorsal root ganglion. Neuroscience, 2002, 115, 15-30.

Cooper, B.Y., Johnson, R.D. and Rau, K.K. Characterization and function of TASK channels in a rat nociceptive cell, Neuroscience, 2004, 129, 209-224.

Rau, K.K., Johnson, R.D. and Cooper, B.Y. Nicotinic AChR in Subclassified Capsaicin-Sensitive and -Insensitive Nociceptors of the Rat DRG. J Neurophysiol 93: 1358-1371, 2005.

Jiang, N. Rau, K.K., Johnson, R.D. and Cooper, B.Y. The proton sensitivity Ca2+ permeability and molecular basis, of ASIC channels expressed in glabrous and hairy skin afferents, J. Neurophysiology., 2006, 95, 2466-2478.

K.K. Rau,KK, Jiang, N, Johnson, R.D. and Cooper, B.Y. Heat Sensitization in Skin and Muscle Nociceptors Expressing Distinct Combinations of TRPV1 and TRPV2 Protein, J. Neurophysiology, in press, 2007