Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Cynthia Cooper's Lab Zebrafish Pigment Cell Biology

Cynthia Cooper, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Molecular Genetics


  • Arts and Sciences
  • Molecular Biosciences
Phone: (360) 546-9342
Office: VSCI 230F

Welcome to the Zebrafish Pigment Cell Biology Lab homepage! The lab is headed by Dr. Cynthia Cooper of Washington State University in Vancouver, Washington, just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. Please visit our webpage frequently for updates on research and available positions.

Our laboratory is interested in the cell biology, developmental biology and genetics of pigmentation. Black pigment cells, or melanocytes, reside throughout human skin and are essential for protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays (tanning). We use zebrafish melanophores as a model to study how these critically important cells develop and function.  Our long term goal is to not only better understand pigment cell biology, but to also find new treatments for pigment cell diseases, such as melanoma and albinism.  Funding has been awarded from the National Institutes of Health, the Melanoma Research Foundation, Washington State University (WSU) Vancouver, WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and the PanAmerican Society for Pigment Cell Research.

Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Equity

Expanding understanding of pigmentation diseases

Last updated 3/28/24