Dr. Cooper co-authored a report on “Cancer in African American Men in South Carolina”, analyzing health disparities in their diagnosis and treatment. His contribution to Figure 5 originated from his Fall 2019 class on “Race and Health”. He has a uniquely engaging teaching style that promotes student success by emphasizing real-world connections of classroom material. He was an invited speaker at the “Annual Cancer in African-American Men” Conference in South Carolina, Nov. 1, 2019.
"It is amazing how small events, over time, gradually lead to a greater event. During the recession, my ability to secure grant funding was failing me. I was starting to feel that my training in biomedical research was useless. I hate feeling useless! I got more involved working in the community with Beautiful Gate Outreach Center (HIV testing and counseling center focusing on African-Americans) and Sisters-On-A-Mission (a breast cancer support group focusing on African-Americans). This work led me to give many small presentations throughout the state of Delaware; some were recorded and got recognized.
Three years ago, I was contacted by the Director of Cancer Prevention and Control, a Division of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (I was born and raised in Kingstree, S.C.) to discuss my research as a keynote speaker. I was honored and accepted the invitation. According to the conference evaluations, my presentation was one of the highlights and I was invited to speak the following year. Again, I received great reviews for my ability to make the information interesting and relevant. In 2018, I was invited to be a member of the "Biology of Cancer" writing subcommittees of the South Carolina Cancer Alliance. Our task was to explain the racial disparity of prostate cancer incidence and mortality in African American men. My specific contribution was to inform the general public of the immune system's role in cancer progression and links to racial disparity. This was one of a few topics covered in our section. To visualize all these topics, I created a figure or working model to show potential connections. My desire was to make it easier for the general public to comprehend the information. This was my first major lay publication. The community health services that the Departments of Biological Sciences & Africana Studies have allowed me to do over the past 10 years has prepared me for this opportunity. For this, I am sincerely grateful."
--Carlton Cooper, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Dr. Cooper is very active as the Health Disparity and Community Outreach Coordinator for Helen H. Graham Center for Translational Cancer Research; he is a consultant or collaborator on NIH grant proposals, co-mentors undergraduate research students (Yasmin Mann received a Goldwater Scholarship last year), and is a sought-after speaker and organizer for many community engagement initiatives, including at the UD Partnership for Healthy Communities with Del State, and as Chair of the Body and Soul Wellness Ministry which leads numerous health-oriented community educational and screening events.
--Velia M. Fowler, Professor, and Chair of Biology