Dr Paul Potter


Senior Lecturer and Group Leader: Disease Mechanisms and Ageing

Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

Paul Potter


I am an experienced group leader and my research focuses on the genetics and pathways underlying chronic and age-related disease. I have specific interests in extracellular matrix disorders. In addition to leading my own research I collaborate with a range of groups, including the Centre for Osteoarthritis Pathogenesis at the Kennedy Institute. I was a member of the management group and a work package leader for the MouseAGE EU COST action. I continue to work on novel models of chronic and age-related disease to identify novel genes and pathways associated with disease, and to use these to search for interventions to improve health.

Areas of expertise

  • Genetics and Disease,
  • Ageing,
  • Disease Models,
  • Osteoarthritis,
  • Renal Disease,
  • Extracellular matrix

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

I am Module Leader for:

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Scientific Skills

I also lecture on:

  • Professional and Experimental Skills,
  • Research Methods for Healthcare Scientists,
  • Evidence Based Medicine,
  • Independent Studies

I am also an MSc Project Supervisor.


I have supervised  a range of PhD, MSc, and undergraduate project students and will be happy to discuss opportunities to develop new projects or contribute to existing ones.

  • 2014-2021, Andy Blease, Collagen I dysfunction resulting in chronic osteoarthritis (PhD).
  • 2014-2018, Sara Falcone. Novel Models of Chronic Renal Disease (PhD).
  • 2014-2018, Thomas Nicol. 2014. A novel model of mitochondrial dysfunction resulting in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (PhD).
  • 2017 - Pedro Romao (Diploma in Veterinary Medicine)
  • 2012 - Hayley Tyrer. The role of HIF and hypoxia in acute and chronic mouse models of Otitis Media (PhD).
  • 2011 - Sulzhan Bali. In vitro modelling of cellular processes in OM-BMDM studies in Junbo mice reveal defects in HIF and TGF-ūĚěę signalling (PhD).


My interests lie in the genetic basis of disease, with a specific focus on age-related and chronic disease. I instigated, developed, and lead, the Harwell Ageing Screen, a large-scale phenotype-driven screen to identify genes and pathways associated with age-related disease. I also collaborate on multiple individual projects around the themes of ageing and the genetic basis of disease. A key area of interest are is ECM dysfunction and current projects include novel mutations resulting in Alport syndrome, Nephrotic Syndrome or Osteoarthritis. I also have projects on sudden cardiac death, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy arising from mitochondrial dysfunction, and colitis.

Key research interest include:

  • Collagen I dysfunction resulting in late-onset osteoarthritis
  • Abnormal branched chain amino acid metabolism is associated with sudden cardiac death
  • A novel model of Nephrotic Syndrome caused by a point mutation in Lama5
  • Extracellular matrix trunover in the glomerular basement membrane
  • Characterisation of a novel model of colitis
  • The association of a mutation in the C lectin binding domain of aggrecan with osteoarthritis and obesity

Research grants and awards

  • INFRAFRONTIER H2020, Transnational access package

Research impact

Ageing is a major risk factor for most diseases and it is essential that we understnad the pathways resulting in age-related disease, and improve our understanding of these diseases 



  • The role of aggrecan in adipogenesis
  • A novel model of Nephrotic Syndrome


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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology
  • Member of the Centre for Osteoarthritis Pathogenesis funded by Versus Arthritis, Kennedy Centre, Oxford
  • Member of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
  • Editorial Board; Experimental Biology and Medicine

Further details

Other experience

  • Head of Disease Model Discovery, Mammalian Genetics Unit, Medical Research Council, Harwell (Sept 2010 to April 2018), Honorary Senior Lecturer (September 2009-Oct 2011, Kennedy Institute for Rheumatology, Imperial College)
  • London Technology Network Business Fellow (March 2010-Oct 2011)
  • Head of Mutagenesis (Nov 2007 – Aug 2010), Deputy Scientific Manager (Nov 2006 – Oct 2007), Mary Lyon Centre, Medical Research Council, Harwell
  • Research Associate (reporting to Prof M. Botto, Prof Mark Walport)Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College (Hammersmith Hospital), London: Rheumatology Section (Nov 1999 – October 2006)
  • Research Associate (reporting to Dr. K. Gould) ICSM (St. Mary’s Hospital), London: Department of Immunology (Jan 1998 – Oct 1999)
  • Research Associate (reporting to Dr. A. Kelly) Guy’s Hospital, London: Renal Laboratory, Department of Medicine (July 1994- Jan 1998)
  • Research Assistant (reporting to Dr. A.K. So) RPMS, Hammersmith Hospital, London: Rheumatology Unit (Jan 1988- July 1994)
  • Research Assistant (reporting to Dr. John Harfield) Coulter Electronics, Luton (1983-1988) Particle sizing lab