Download Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Ryan Potts grew up in North Carolina and obtained his B.S. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2000. Subsequently he worked as a Research Assistant at UNC studying the intracellular signaling processes that regulate neuronal cell death. In 2003 he entered into the Cell Regulation Ph.D. program at UT Southwestern Medical Center under the mentorship of Dr. Hongtao Yu in the department of Pharmacology. He completed his dissertation in 2007 studying the molecular and biochemical processes that safeguard the genome from DNA damage-induced mutations. In 2008 he was awarded the Sara and Frank McKnight independent postdoctoral fellowship in the department of Biochemistry at UT Southwestern Medical Center. During this time his research focused on understanding the basic molecular, genetic, and cellular events that give rise to cancer. His lab biochemically defined a novel family of cancer cell-specific proteins, called MAGE proteins, that promote tumor growth. In 2011 he was appointed Assistant Professor and Endowed Scholar in Biomedical Research in the department of Physiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He was also awarded a Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Scholar in Cancer Research Award. His lab is now focused on elucidating the biochemical, cellular, and physiological function of MAGE proteins in tumorigenesis and in normal somatic and germ cells.


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2000), Biology
Graduate School
University of Texas Southwestern Med Ctr Dallas (2007), Science

Research Interest

  • cancer / tumorigenesis
  • DNA damage response
  • MAGE cancer-testis antigens
  • protein trafficking
  • RNA stability
  • ubiquitination / post-translational modification


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Oncogenic MAGEA-TRIM28 ubiquitin ligase downregulates autophagy by ubiquitinating and degrading AMPK in cancer.
Pineda CT, Potts PR Autophagy 2015 May 11 5 844-6
Ubiquitin puts actin in its place.
Hao YH, Potts PR Mol. Cell 2014 May 54 4 544-6
Scc1 sumoylation by Mms21 promotes sister chromatid recombination through counteracting Wapl.
Wu N, Kong X, Ji Z, Zeng W, Potts PR, Yokomori K, Yu H Genes Dev. 2012 Jul 26 13 1473-85
Creating higher titer lentivirus using caffeine
Ellis, B., Potts, P.R., Porteus, M.H. Human Gene Therapy January 2011 22 93-100
The Yin and Yang of the MMS21-SMC5/6 SUMO ligase complex in homologous recombination
Potts, P.R. DNA Repair April 2009 8 499-506
The SMC5/6 Complex Maintains Telomere Length in ALT Cancer Cells through Sumoylation of Telomere-Binding Proteins
Potts, P.R. and Yu, H. Nature Structure and Molecular Biology July 2007 14 581-590
Human SMC5/6 complex promotes sister chromatid homologous recombination by recruiting the SMC1/3 cohesin complex to double-strand breaks
Potts, P.R., Porteus, M.H., and Yu, H. EMBO Journal July 2006 25 3377-3388

Honors & Awards

  • CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research
    Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (2011)
  • Endowed Scholar in Biomedical Research
    UT Southwestern Medical Center (2011)
  • Sara and Frank McKnight Fellowship
    UT Southwestern Medical Center Dept Biochemistry (2008)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American society for cell biology (2013)
  • American Association of Cancer Research
  • American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
  • Sigma Xi