Dr. Coope works at the interface of physics, engineering and life science to develop new tools for biology and medicine. As Instrumentation Group Leader at the Genome Sciences Centre, this includes overseeing automated sample handling and inventing new instruments for sample processing and analysis. He has also leveraged the GSC’s close connections to Vancouver hospitals to uncover new opportunities in medical device development. An engineer at heart, Robin has had an extensive career spanning semiconductor physics, art installations, science on television, mountain bike stunt shows and Lego robotics as well as life science. Dr Coope is a Professional Engineer and holds a PhD in Physics from the University of British Columbia.


As Group Leader for Instrumentation, Dr. Coope is responsible for liquid handling automation as well as the development of novel solutions for sample handling for genomic analysis.  


Tumour enrichment in formalin fixed, paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue obtained from biopsy

The goal is to improve genomic analysis by increasing the fraction of tumour in a sample vs background normal tissue. Two technologies, automated block coring, and high speed laser ablation of tissue sections have been developed. A follow on project has been to develop automated tumour identification methods to improve the workflow for these devices. 


Dr Coope began a collaboration in 2010 with Dr Robert Meek, professor emeritus of orthopaedic trauma and retired trauma surgeon at Vancouver Hospital, to address how put a long enough implant inside the curved bone of the pelvis to provide stable fixation. A device was developed that could be inserted in a flexible state and stiffed once in place. This is being commercialized by CurvaFix, a Seattle start up, which as of March 2019 has received FDA 510(k) and Health Canada clearance for the Intramedullary RodScrew. First-in-human trials are planned for summer 2019.

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