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Christopher J. Potter

Principal Investigator

Chris Potter is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University. He is also a member of the IBBS Center for Sensory Biology. He received his B.A. from University of California Berkeley and his Ph.D. from Yale University. His postdoctoral research was carried out at Stanford University with Dr. Liqun Luo.


Chris Potter

Darya Task

Graduate Student (2013-2019) / Postdoc (2019-)

Darya graduated from the Ohio State University in 2011 with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Spanish. As an undergraduate, she worked in the lab of Dr. Bennet Givens, studying the effects of ethanol on impulsivity, working memory and the theta rhythm. Before coming to Hopkins, she worked for a year as adjunct faculty at Rhodes State College, teaching Anatomy and Physiology labs and First Year Experience. She is currently investigating olfactory signalling in the larvae.



Ali Afify

Postdoctoral Researcher  (started March 2016)


Ali got his Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Zoology from Cairo University, where he worked on mosquito ecology. He was awarded the Fulbright Fellowship in 2007 and the Max Planck Fellowship in 2010.  Ali earned his PhD in 2014 from the University of Konstanz. During his PhD, he worked on mosquito olfaction, mainly what odors attract/repel mosquitoes from host finding and oviposition. He is currently interested in how different odorants are coded at the receptors and glomeruli level in Anopheles gambiae.


Sarah Maguire

Postdoctoral Researcher (started July 2016)


Sarah earned her A.B. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania. While at Penn, she studied the genetics of sleep and circadian rhythm in fruit flies with Dr. Amita Sehgal. At Johns Hopkins, Sarah will use novel genetic reagents developed in the Potter lab to study the biological basis of olfaction in fruitflies and mosquitoes


Joanna Konopka

Postdoctoral Researcher  (started July 2019)    


Joanna holds Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Biology (specializing in Ecology and Evolution) from The University of Western Ontario (Canada). She is a behavioral ecologist and an entomologist with a broad range of experiences and expertise including 3D high resolution live imaging, insect molecular biology, insecticide toxicology, integrated pest management, chemical ecology, and biological control. Joanna has transitioned into medical entomology research with interest in zoonoses and vector-borne diseases, where she is bringing her behavioral ecology skills to study arthropod disease-vectors including mosquitoes and the neuronal expression of their sense of smell.


Randy Lawrence

Research Specialist (started August 2019)


Randy attended the University of Maryland, Baltimore County from 2005-2009 where he graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Before attending graduate school, Randy worked for the USDA Agriculture Research Service studying alternative methods to treat MRSA infections in cattle. Afterwards he spent two years at Johns Hopkins studying Huntington’s disease in the department of neurobiology, followed by researching the rates and effects of toxin diffusion on mammalian cells in the biophysics department. In 2012, Randy moved to Miami Florida to pursue his Ph.D. in chemistry, specifically studying how to control the catalytic rates of metallic nanoparticles by using different wavelengths of light. Returning to Johns Hopkins, Randy is now applying his diverse set of skills to assist in the multitude of projects in the lab, while learning new techniques in insect olfaction.



Kateline Robinson

Research Technician      

July 2017-Feb 2019

Katie is persuing her interest in bugs at the Pennsylavia Department of Agriculture in the Entomology Division.


Elizabeth Marr

Research Technician      

Jan 2012-July 2017  

Liz is currently persuing a career as a Medical Technician in the Baltimore area.


Chun-Chieh Lin

Graduate Student (2010-2015) and Postdoc (2015-2016)

Chun-Chieh earned his M.D. from Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan before joining the Dept of Neuroscience in 2009.  Chun-Chieh characterized a novel pheromone, developed FgSSR, and developed the HACK method for swapping transgenic components. He is now a Resident in the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology at Columbia University Medical Center.

Sonia Chin

Graduate Student (2011-2016)

Sonia developed a olfactogenetic approach to link neuron acttivities to behaviors. A paper describing her Thesis work regarding olfactory-guided oviposition is in progress. She is now pursuing her interest for teaching biology at Friends School in Pennsylvania.


Deidre St. Peter

Research Technician       10/1/10 to 11/24/11

Deidre is currently a medical student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. 


Olena Riabinina

Postdoctoral Researcher 05/2012 to 03/2016

Lena received a MSc in Applied physics from the National Technical University of Ukraine in 2006, and a PhD from the University of Sussex in the UK in 2009. She joined the lab in 2012, and developed the second generation of the Q-system (QF2)(Riabinina et al, 2015, Nat Methods). Lena introduced the Q-system into the malaria mosquitoes Anopheles gambiae. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Dept of Biosciences at Durham University. 

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