Dr. Marcus S. Cooke, professor at FIU Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, has been accepted as a management committee observer, on behalf of the college, for the European Union-funded Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) proposal hCOMET. Cooke is the only US representative to be invited to take part in the project.
The project creates a multi-center network of excellence to standardize methodologies in collecting data on DNA damage (and DNA repair) in human populations, using a technique known as the comet assay. The goals are to collect research results into a combined database for pooled analysis to better understand results and to determine standard procedures and guidelines to ensure that research can be reliably compared.
“It is a tremendous honor to be a part of this project and help move this initiative forward,” said Cooke. “By providing my expertise and perspective, I hope to be an asset as we work to formalize a foundation that will allow for better standards for future research.”
The organization has participants from 24 COST member countries and four international partner countries, who are included as observers.
“Dr. Cooke has utilized the comet assay for over ten years and made a number of significant contributions, both to the assay itself and the biomedical field,” said Dr. Kim Tieu, professor and Chair of the department of Environmental Health Sciences. “This makes him well placed not only to participate in hCOMET but also be a focus for dissemination of the findings to other comet assay users in Florida, and beyond.”