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Houston, Texas

The Cullen Building at Baylor College of Medicine.
Department of Neurology
not shown on screen

Edward C. Cooper, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience [view Neuroscience profile]

Clinical Service Area


Board Certification

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Neurology

Medical School

M.D./Ph.D., Yale University, Conn.


Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, Calif.


Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, Calif.

Clinical Fellowship

Epilepsy Research, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, Calif.
Molecular Neurobiology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, Calif.

Clinical Interests

Epilepsy and seizures; family history of epilepsy

Research Interests

As a laboratory physiologist and clinical neurologist, my goal is to speed the translation of basic brain science into better treatments, cures, and preventing interventions for epilepsy and related disorders that affect children and adults. I am focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying the brain's fast long-distance signal, known as the action potential. Action potentials carry signals from our sensory organs to the brain, from the brain to our muscles, and within the brain's circuits for thought, emotion, and memory. The key molecules for the action potential, called sodium and potassium channels, are very central to many issues in epilepsy. Sodium and potassium channel genes are frequently involved when epilepsy in a family occurs due to single-gene mutation. Sodium and potassium channels are also targets of many of the known anti-epileptic drugs. We helped to discover the role KCNQ potassium channels play in the action potentials of brain and nerve. We are continuing to research how KCNQ channels balance sodium channels and make action potentials and other signals stronger and more reliable. In fact, KCNQ channels seem to be a powerful, natural anti-seizure mechanism. We are studying novel anti-seizure drugs that increase the opening of KCNQ channels. Our research spans from very basic studies at the molecular level, to in vivo work in animal models of seizures, to human studies of hereditary disorders and drug treatments.

Funding from The Jack Pribaz Foundation has enabled our lab to begin studies of KCNQ2 mutations found in patients with neonatal-onset epileptic encephalopathy. KCNQ2 encephalopathy is a recently-described syndrome of seizures and marked developmental delay (for review, see Millichap and Cooper, 2012). We are working with families and treating pediatric neurologists to assess the pathogenicity of KCNQ2 mutations newly uncovered through genetic tests, and to develop novel early treatment approaches for these patients. Families and physicians are encouraged to contact Dr. Cooper with questions about these programs.

Contact Information

Edward C. Cooper, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Neurology
Baylor College of Medicine
One Baylor Plaza, MS NB302
Houston, Texas 77030

Tel: 713-798-4939
Fax: 713-798-3464

Journal Publications (Selected out of 41)

  • Millichap JJ, Cooper EC. KCNQ2 potassium channel epileptic encephalopathy syndrome: divorce of an electro-mechanical couple? Epilepsy Curr. 2012;12(4):150-2. [View journal article]
  • Raol YH, Lapides DA, Keating JG, Brooks-Kayal AR, Cooper EC. A KCNQ channel opener for experimental neonatal seizures and status epilepticus. Ann Neurol. 2009;65(3):326-36. [View journal article]
  • Hill AS, Nishino A, Nakajo K, Zhang G, Fineman JR, Selzer ME, et al. Ion channel clustering at the axon initial segment and node of Ranvier evolved sequentially in early chordates. PLoS Genet. 2008;4(12):e1000317. [View journal article]
  • Shah MM, Migliore M, Valencia I, Cooper EC, Brown DA. Functional significance of axonal Kv7 channels in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008;105(22):7869-74. [View journal article]
  • Pan Z, Kao T, Horvath Z, Lemos J, Sul JY, Cranstoun SD, et al. A common ankyrin-G-based mechanism retains KCNQ and NaV channels at electrically active domains of the axon. J Neurosci. 2006;26(10):2599-613. [View journal article]
  • Schwarz JR, Glassmeier G, Cooper EC, Kao TC, Nodera H, Tabuena D, et al. KCNQ channels mediate IKs, a slow K+ current regulating excitability in the rat node of Ranvier. J Physiol. 2006;573(Pt 1):17-34. [View journal article]
  • Surti TS, Huang L, Jan YN, Jan LY, Cooper EC. Identification by mass spectrometry and functional characterization of two phosphorylation sites of KCNQ2/KCNQ3 channels. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005;102(49):17828-33. [View journal article]
  • Devaux JJ, Kleopa KA, Cooper EC, Scherer SS. KCNQ2 is a nodal K+ channel. J Neurosci. 2004;24(5):1236-44. [View journal article]
  • Cooper EC, Jan LY. M-channels: neurological diseases, neuromodulation, and drug development. Arch Neurol. 2003;60(4):496-500. [View journal article]
  • Cooper EC, Aldape KD, Abosch A, Barbaro NM, Berger MS, Peacock WS, et al. Colocalization and coassembly of two human brain M-type potassium channel subunits that are mutated in epilepsy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000;97(9):4914-9. [View journal article]

Book Chapters and Other Publications

  • Cooper EC. Potassium channels (including KCNQ) and epilepsy. In: Noebels JL, Avoli M, Rogawski MA, Olsen R, W, Delgado-Escueta AV, editors. Jasper's basic mechanisms of the epilepsies. 4th ed. New York: Oxford University Press; 2012. p. 55-65. Available from: [View book section]

Poster and Platform Presentations

  • Chang K-J, Zollinger DR, Susuki K, Ho TS, Cooper EC, Bennett V, et al. Paranodal ankyrins: Enigmatic glial anchors. Program No. 699.05. 2013 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. San Diego, CA: Society for Neuroscience, 2013. Online.
  • Ho T, Zollinger DR, Xu M, Cooper EC, Stankewich MC, Bennett V, et al. The roles of ankyrin-G in node of Ranvier formation in vivo. Program No. 699.17. 2013 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. San Diego, CA: Society for Neuroscience, 2013. Online.
  • Cooper E. Ion channel modifications in epilepsy. Presented at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), 64th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, La. (April 21-28, 2012).

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