Emory Report
October 1, 2007
Volume 60, Number 6

Emory Report homepage  

October 1, 2007
University alumna receives MacArthur ‘genius’ grant

By beverly clark

Emory alumna Lisa Cooper has been named a 2007 MacArthur Fellow and is the recipient of the MacArthur Foundation’s so-called “genius” grant, which includes $500,000, no strings attached, over five years. She was one of 24 winners this year who are chosen for their creativity, the originality of their work and their potential to make important contributions in their fields.

Cooper received her bachelor’s degree from Emory in 1984. She is currently a professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and holds a joint appointment in the departments of epidemiology and health policy and management in the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins.

Cooper is an internationally recognized physician and public health researcher whose scholarship on clinical communication is improving medical outcomes for minorities in the United States. A native of Liberia, she brings an innovative perspective to American medical care. As the result of her research, Cooper has developed culturally tailored education programs designed to improve the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension and depression among African Americans.

Vice President and Secretary of the University Rosemary Magee taught Cooper while she was at Emory in a writing course, and said she “vividly” remembers a student who early on demonstrated an interest in public health in her writings.

“At the time, she was one of a few international students at Emory. Through her class writing assignments, all of us in the class learned about Liberia,” Magee said. “Her work continues to speak to the values of Emory University, and we take enormous pride in who she is and what she has accomplished.”