A photo of S. Steven Potter.

S. Steven Potter, PhD

  • Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



I was drawn to a career in research by a general curiosity about how the body develops. At Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, I focus on understanding how the kidneys and lungs form.

My research career has spanned nearly five decades, during which I’ve led or been part of many notable discoveries. In the mid-70s, I worked on a team that discovered that mitochondrial DNA is maternally inherited. As a postdoctoral fellow, our research showed that repetitive DNA consists of transposable elements.

I was among the first to use transgene insertion to find novel development genes and my lab was among the first to carry to gene-targeted knockouts.

Research milestones I’ve participated in include:

  • First to clone, name and knockout a number of developmentally important genes
  • Among to the first to use microarrays, travel to Affymetrix
  • Among the first to carry out single-cell resolution gene expression experiments

BA: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), CA, 1971.

PhD: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 1976.

Postdoctoral Fellowship: Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 1976-1978.


Kidney development and disease; Hox genes; craniofacial development; creation of an atlas of global gene expression patterns in the multiple compartments of the developing kidney; analysis of perturbed gene expression patterns in the kidney glomeruli of patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis; craniofacial development using mutant mice, laser capture microdissection, next generation sequencing, and microarrays; recombineering to target multiple Hox genes at once

Research Areas

Developmental Biology, Fibrosis


Olig2 defines a subset of neural stem cells that produce specific olfactory bulb interneuron subtypes in the subventricular zone of adult mice. Del Águila, Á; Adam, M; Ullom, K; Shaw, N; Qin, S; Ehrman, J; Nardini, D; Salomone, J; Gebelein, B; Lu, QR; et al. Development (Cambridge). 2022; 149:dev200028.

Cross talk between LAM cells and fibroblasts may influence alveolar epithelial cell behavior in lymphangioleiomyomatosis. Clements, D; Miller, S; Babaei-Jadidi, R; Adam, M; Potter, SS; Johnson, SR. American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology. 2022; 322:L283-L293.

HoxD transcription factors define monosynaptic sensory-motor specificity in the developing spinal cord. Imai, F; Adam, M; Potter, SS; Yoshida, Y. Development (Cambridge). 2021; 148:dev191122.

HoxD transcription factors define monosynaptic sensory-motor specificity in the developing spinal cord. Imai, F; Adam, M; Potter, SS; Yoshida, Y. Development (Cambridge). 2021; 148.

The Rhesus Macaque Serves As a Model for Human Lateral Branch Nephrogenesis. Schuh, MP; Alkhudairy, L; Potter, A; Potter, SS; Chetal, K; Thakkar, K; Salomonis, N; Kopan, R. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN. 2021; 32:1097-1112.

Single-cell RNA-seq analysis reveals compartment-specific heterogeneity and plasticity of microglia. Zheng, J; Ru, W; Adolacion, JR; Spurgat, MS; Liu, X; Yuan, S; Liang, RX; Dong, J; Potter, AS; Potter, SS; et al. iScience. 2021; 24:102186.

Combinatorial Transcriptional Profiling of Mouse and Human Enteric Neurons Identifies Shared and Disparate Subtypes In Situ. May-Zhang, AA; Tycksen, E; Southard-Smith, AN; Deal, KK; Benthal, JT; Buehler, DP; Adam, M; Simmons, AJ; Monaghan, JR; Matlock, BK; et al. Gastroenterology. 2021; 160:755-770.e26.

Kidney Single-cell Transcriptomes Predict Spatial Corticomedullary Gene Expression and Tissue Osmolality Gradients. Hinze, C; Karaiskos, N; Boltengagen, A; Walentin, K; Redo, K; Himmerkus, N; Bleich, M; Potter, SS; Potter, AS; Eckardt, K; et al. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN. 2021; 32:291-306.

Single-Cell Profiling of AKI in a Murine Model Reveals Novel Transcriptional Signatures, Profibrotic Phenotype, and Epithelial-to-Stromal Crosstalk. Rudman-Melnick, V; Adam, M; Potter, A; Chokshi, SM; Ma, Q; Drake, KA; Schuh, MP; Matthew Kofron, J; Devarajan, P; Steven Potter, S. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN. 2020; 31:2793-2814.

Single-Cell Transcriptomic Analysis Identifies a Unique Pulmonary Lymphangioleiomyomatosis Cell. Guo, M; Yu, JJ; Perl, AK; Wikenheiser-Brokamp, KA; Riccetti, M; Zhang, EY; Sudha, P; Adam, M; Potter, A; Kopras, EJ; et al. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2020; 202:1373-1387.