William T. Potter

William Potter

Professor Keplinger Hall M253

My research interests involve the development of non-invasive diagnostics. Presently, we are working on a joint project with the Psychology Department to determine biochemical markers which correlate to an individual's personality. The research is focused on the individual's susceptibility to stress and their fear response. We are studying the specific genetic and bio-markers that are related to the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis). Theses markers are collected from exhaled breath condensate, non-stimulate saliva and buccal swabs and include cortisol, SLC6A4, COMT, MAO-A, BDNF and CRH receptor genetics and other more novel saliometric parameters. This research is connected with ongoing research on post-traumatic stress in rape and abuse victims in collaboration with the TITAN Institute and with pain research that is trying to evaluate the factors responsible for each individual's sensitivity to pain. Our collaborative work is an extension of previous studies on the development of non-invasive diagnostics using high resolution laser spectroscopy (TDLAS). These studies focused on the evaluation of oxidative stress, cancer biomarkers and environmental pollutants. The breath exhalation studies included diagnostic molecules such as nitric oxide and formaldehyde.

Education and Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D. Biochemistry, Colorado State University, 1985
  • Peace Corps, Sierra Leone, West Africa, 1980
  • B.S. Chemistry, The University of Notre Dame, 1975

Areas of Research Focus

  • Biochemistry
  • Non-invasive diagnostics
  • Environmental Stress
  • Saliometrics
  • PCR
  • ICP-MS

Previous Relevant Work Experience

  • Research Associate, Department of Laboratory Medicine
  • Research Associate, Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Minnesota

Courses Taught at TU

  • Biochemistry I (CHEM 4133)
  • Biochemistry II (CHEM 4143)
  • Biochemistry of Nutraceuticals
  • Biochemistry of Nutrition
  • Clinical Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry (CHEM 4053)