Dr. Cousins' research focuses on understanding the nutritional significance of zinc and how this micronutrient acts as a signaling molecule where specific zinc transporters target zinc to cellular sites to influence function. His laboratory makes extensive use of mutant mouse models and cell level experimentation and capitalizes on techniques of molecular biology and state-of-the-art analytical methods. He has trained over 75 doctoral students and postdoctoral associates. Dr. Cousins has been President of both FASEB and the American Society for Nutrition (ASN). His numerous research awards include the Osborne & Mendel Award (ASN), MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health, and Bristol Myers-Squibb Mead Johnson Award. He is a Fellow of the ASN and American Association for the Advancement of Science and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Cousins’ research has evolved from understanding the nutritional significance of zinc to elucidating how this micronutrient acts as a signaling molecule through regulated cellular transporters to produce influences on cellular function, host defense mechanisms and specific diseases. The laboratory members work as a team but on individual projects built around the central theme of zinc metabolism and function using the latest available technologies. The laboratory is unique in that this experimental theme is maintained from experiments at the molecular level, to those with isolated cells, with mutant mouse models, and to those with human subjects.