Christopher J. Potter

Christopher J. Potter

Associate Professor
Primary Appointment: 

855 N. Wolfe Street
Rangos 434
Baltimore MD 21205

Research topic: 

Genes and Neural Circuits Required for Insect Olfaction

My lab functions at an intersection between systems and molecular neuroscience. We are interested in how neurons and circuits function in the brain to achieve a common goal (olfaction), but we also develop, utilize, and build tools (molecular and genetic) that allow us to directly alter neuronal functions in a living organism. We then determine how our neuronal manipulations have altered the behavior of an animal, and the molecules that underly these functions

The focus of my laboratory is to understand how the insect brain receives, interprets, and responds to odors. Insects rely on their sense of smell for all major life choices, from foraging to mating, from choosing where to lay eggs to avoiding predators and dangers. We are interested in understanding at the neuronal level how odors regulate these behaviors.

Our long-term aim is to apply this knowledge to better control insects that pose a threat to human health. Our general approach towards achieving this goal is to link neuron function with olfactory-guided behaviors by developing and employing new genetic methods that enable unprecedented control over neural circuits in both the model organism Drosophila melanogaster and human vector Anopheles gambiae.

We are always looking for motivated graduate students, so if any of the above sounds interesting, email me to learn more about the lab. Or visit our lab webpage.

Selected Publications: 

Riabinina, O, Task, D, Marr, E, Lin, C-C, Alford R, O'Brochta, DA, Potter, CJ (2016) Organization of Olfactory Centers in the Malaria Mosquito Anopheles gambiae. Nature Communications 7, 1–12.

Lin, C-C, Potter, CJ (2016) Non-Mendelian Dominant Maternal Effects Caused by CRISPR/Cas9 Transgenic Components in Drosophila melanogaster. G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics Early Online September 16, 2016, doi: 10.1534/g3.116.034884;

Lin, C-C, Potter, CJ (2016) Editing Transgenic DNA Components by Inducible Gene Replacement in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 203(4) 1613-1628; DOI: 10.1534/genetics.116.191783;

Lin, C-C, Riabinina, O., Potter, C. J. (2016) Olfactory Behaviors Assayed by Computer Tracking Of Drosophila in a Four-quadrant Olfactometer. J. Vis. Exp. (114), e54346, doi:10.3791/54346 JoVE Article 2015

Lin, C-C., Prokop-Prigge, KA, Preti, G and Potter CJ (2015) Food odors trigger Drosophila males to deposit a pheromone that guides aggregation and female oviposition decisions. eLife, Full-text Article.

Lin, C-C. and Potter, CJ (2015) Re-classification of Drosophila melanogaster Trichoid and Intermediate Sensilla Using Fluorescence-guided Single Sensillum Recording PLoS ONE, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0139675.

Riabinina, O., Luginbuhl, D., Marr, E., Liu, S., Wu, M.N., Luo, L., and Potter, C.J (2015) Improved and expanded Q-system reagents for genetic manipulations. Nature Methods, 12:219-222. 2014

Potter, CJ (2014) Stop the Biting: Targeting a Mosquito’s Sense of Smell (review). Cell 156:878-881.

Potter, CJ*, Tasic, B*, Russler, EV, Liang, L, and Luo, L. (2010) The Q System: A Repressible Binary Expression System for Transgene Expression, Lineage Tracing and Mosaic Analysis. Cell 141:536-548. *Denotes equal contribution. PDF Extended PDF