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Biography of Mary Ann Cooper MD

Mary Ann Cooper, MD, Professor Emerita of Emergency Medicine, retired from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 2008.  As a professor at UIC, she held additional faculty appointments in the Neurology and Bioengineering Departments.  Dr Cooper received her medical degree from Michigan State University and completed her residency in emergency medicine at the University of Cincinnati.  As an early leader in emergency medicine, Dr Cooper participated in writing the initial training and accreditation standards for training in the specialty of emergency medicine, was an oral board examiner for over a decade, held fellowships in several emergency medicine organizations and was the first woman to be elected president of a national society in emergency medicine.

At UIC, in addition to practicing clinical emergency medicine for two decades, Dr. Cooper directed the Lightning Injury Research Program which was active in basic and clinical research, education and lightning injury prevention.  Dr Cooper has been active with the Lightning Strike and Electric Shock Survivors, International support group since its inception and serves on its Board of Directors.  She is the acknowledged international medical expert on lightning injuries and injury prevention.

As a result of her work in lightning injury prevention, Dr. Cooper was the first physician to be elected a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (2003 – an honor accorded by the AMS constitution to <0.3% of AMS membership), and received an AMS Special Award for her medical studies of lightning victims (2001).  Dr. Cooper was a trainer for the National Weather Service of NOAA, serves as an original member of the NOAA National Lightning Awareness Week (NLAW) working committee, and works with broadcast meteorologists around the world to raise public awareness and decrease lightning injuries.  She has given hundreds of interviews to print, broadcast and now internet media over the past thirty years.

She has also mentored students from the third grade to post-graduate studies from all over the world as they pursue their interests in lightning and she regularly networks them to her colleagues in the lightning community of physicists, engineers, meteorologists and others.  In her retirement, she is working with multidisciplinary groups around the world to promote lightning injury prevention and serves on several international advisory boards dedicated to lightning safety education, research and injury prevention.

Dr Cooper may be reached at  Her website is ttp://

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