Joanna Cooper, M.D., Neurologist; Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Neurology

California Pacific CURRENTS: The online journal of CPMC Research Institute

New approaches to the treatment of multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, spasticity disorders, and other neurologic conditions

Research Overview

  • Dr. Joanna Cooper specializes in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) and sleep disorders. Board certified in neurology and sleep disorders medicine, she presents internationally on new advances in the management of MS, and best practices in the treatment of spasticity disorders.
  • Dr. Cooper is a Principal Investigator for phase 1-3 multicenter, national and international clinical trials investigating the safety and efficacy of new therapies and combination agents for the treatment of MS, and spasticity disorders occurring after stroke.
  • At Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and at Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation, Dr. Cooper helps lead a comprehensive program for MS patient care and clinical research, with projects ranging from single-center to international studies. Her research in this area spans clinical trials for innovative medications and combination therapies, to a new tool for assessing an MS patient’s quality of life and symptom-relief medications.
  • Dr. Cooper is Medical Director of the Research Institute at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center (REDI). She has served in various leadership roles for the East Bay Physicians Medical Group including the Board of Directors. She is Chief of Medical Subspecialties for the Group.
  • She is the Multiple Sclerosis Lead for the Sutter Neuroscience Research Consortium.

Find additional information on neuroscience research and clinical trials at the Jordan Research and Education Institute at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.


Dr. Cooper received her M.D. from the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv University, Israel. She completed residency training in neurology at the VA Medical Center in Martinez, California. She has specialty training in the use of intrathecal baclofen, and the administration of botox for neurologic disorders.


Publication Search


Kappos L, Bar-Or A, Cree BAC, Fox RJ, Giovannoni G, Gold R, Vermersch P, Arnold DL, Arnould S, Scherz T, Wolf C, Wallström E, Dahlke F, EXPAND Clinical Investigators., Siponimod versus placebo in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (EXPAND): a double-blind, randomised, phase 3 study. Lancet

Montalban X, Hauser SL, Kappos L, Arnold DL, Bar-Or A, Comi G, de Seze J, Giovannoni G, Hartung HP, Hemmer B, Lublin F, Rammohan KW, Selmaj K, Traboulsee A, Sauter A, Masterman D, Fontoura P, Belachew S, Garren H, Mairon N, Chin P, Wolinsky JS, ORATORIO Clinical Investigators., Ocrelizumab versus Placebo in Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. N Engl J Med

Giovannoni G, Cohen JA, Coles AJ, Hartung HP, Havrdova E, Selmaj KW, Margolin DH, Lake SL, Kaup SM, Panzara MA, Compston DA, CARE-MS II Investigators., Alemtuzumab improves preexisting disability in active relapsing-remitting MS patients. Neurology

Hablitz LM, Molzof HE, Abrahamsson KE, Cooper JM, Prosser RA, Gamble KL, GIRK Channels Mediate the Nonphotic Effects of Exogenous Melatonin. J Neurosci

Coles AJ, Twyman CL, Arnold DL, Cohen JA, Confavreux C, Fox EJ, Hartung HP, Havrdova E, Selmaj KW, Weiner HL, Miller T, Fisher E, Sandbrink R, Lake SL, Margolin DH, Oyuela P, Panzara MA, Compston DA, CARE-MS II investigators., Alemtuzumab for patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis after disease-modifying therapy: a randomised controlled phase 3 trial. Lancet

Joanna Cooper, M.D., Neurologist; Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Neurology
Primary Research Interests
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Sleep apnea, balance, and gait disorders
  • Spasticity treatment