July 1st 2020

Due to a server change, the Potter Lab website is currently down.  We are working on a completely updated website which we hope to have here soon!

 

Potter Lab Research Statement

Mosquitoes are sensory hypodermic needles with wings. My research program investigates the deadliest of all mosquito species: Anopheles gambiae. Anopheles mosquitoes use their sense of smell (olfaction) to find humans from a distance, and their sense of smell and taste when choosing a place to bite. If infected with a parasite, this bite can lead to the transmission of malaria, which kills more than 400,000 people every year. We aim to exploit the chemosensory signaling that occurs between humans and mosquitoes to reduce, or possibly eliminate, mosquito bites. We are driven by two overarching goals. The first is curiosity. We wish to understand how sensory systems in mosquitoes allow them to find humans, from the molecular receptors they use to the olfactory neurons that are activated to the brain circuits that interpret these signals. Our second driving goal is to leverage this knowledge to offer real-world solutions. We wish to understand sensory processes in mosquitoes so we can more effectively disrupt them. We have taken a multipronged approach to address these questions. We are currently investigating olfactory signaling between humans and mosquitoes (and how repellent odors disrupt these signals), how olfactory neurons and their signaling guides attraction or repulsion, the chemical and contact cues a mosquito uses to find a blood-vessel after it lands on a human, how sensory cues influence the different steps of biting, and the cellular mechanisms by which odor receptors are chosen (and repressed) within a sensory neuron.

 

Potter Lab (shipping address)

855 N. Wolfe Street

420.02 Rangos Building

Baltimore, MD 21205

Lab Phone: 443-287-4152