The Cooper Center Longitudinal Study (CCLS) is the principal research asset of The Cooper Institute. The data collection began with Dr. Cooper's first patient in December 1970 with information meticulously recorded on index cards and stored in a shoe box. Dr. Cooper recognized the need for irrefutable research on fitness and activity and had the foresight to start developing a rich repository of health-related information. CCLS continues to expand each day as patients examined by Cooper physicians are added into the database.
This database contains more than 250,000 records from almost 100,000 individuals representing more than 1,800,000 person-years of observation. The CCLS is one of the most highly-referenced databases containing more than 3,000 variables and the most information on fitness in the world.
Over the past decades, amazing progress in technology allow for study of processes at the cellular level. The Cooper Institute and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) are at the cutting edge of molecular genetic research. Powerful new techniques greatly improve our ability to identify genes responsible for common disease and provide important insights into how certain diseases work and how they can be treated or prevented.
The Cooper Institute began collecting blood samples from CCLS participants in 1999. Today, about 150 blood samples are obtained each week and added to the more than 30,000 samples already stored. These blood samples are currently processed at UTSW for DNA isolation and a portion of the blood plasma is frozen, stored, and catalogued for efficient retrieval at CI. This collaborative effort is called The Cooper Institute-UT Southwestern BioBank.
In summary, genetic information from Cooper patients, matched with their health information in the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study, allows us to look for associations between gene patterns and biologic characteristics. The research and medical outcomes of this link may change the future of modern medicine.