Focus on faculty: Dr. David Potter


Competence, accuracy and confidence; these are three characteristics that a health care professional needs to develop, according to the chair of the department of pharmaceutical sciences at the Texas A&M Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy. Applying these three qualities can enable the achievement of many goals.

David Potter, Ph.D., professor and chair of pharmaceutical sciences, joined the staff of the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy in August.

Potter said the college prepares professional student pharmacists to succeed in the careers as drug information experts.

“The graduates of the college are able to solve drug-related problems as well as serve as repositories of information about drugs,” Potter said. “In addition, students are aware of the cost and effectiveness of generic and proprietary medications as they render appropriate service to the underserved patients in South Texas.”

He views pharmacists as the future gatekeepers for the reliability of drug information that is transmitted to patients. In this regard, the information they provide needs to be accurate, relevant and up-to-date. It is the challenge of faculty at the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy to instill a desire for lifelong learning in the graduates.

Potter has extensive experience managing and teaching courses to medical and graduate students in medical pharmacology, environmental toxicology, sports medicine, grant and manuscript writing as well as fundamentals of intellectual property. For his excellence in teaching, Potter has received special recognition from students, faculty and administration.

His current ambition is to implement courses for undergraduate students in basic pharmacology and toxicology as well as perform research to establish further the scientific validity of alternative and complementary medicine in western health care paradigms. He is also interested in establishing relevant courses and research in pharmacogenomics.

Potter said the most important thing that must be taught to the professional student pharmacists is confidence in the knowledge and training that they receive throughout their experiences at the college. He said with confidence, they can be effective educators of patients in the use of medications.

poBefore he joined the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy, Potter’s teaching experience involved second-year medical students, graduate students and those completing their residency; much of the subject matter was clinically related. He suggests this level of instruction is relevant to the professional student pharmacists at the college who will be interacting with physicians throughout their careers.

Prior to joining the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy, Potter was a faculty member in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Medical University of South Carolina and is currently professor emeritus. Potter was also professor and chairman of the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology and director of graduate education in the biomedical sciences doctoral program at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga.

Potter has also served on the faculty at the Baylor College of Medicine, University of California at Irvine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and the University of Texas Medical Branch.

In addition to his academic experience, Potter has worked in the pharmaceutical industry where he played an active role in the discovery of ketamine, a nondissociative anesthetic, and brimonidine, a drug currently marketed to treat open-angle glaucoma.

Potter’s leisure activities include baseball, golf, fishing, kayaking and engaging in other outside adventures with his Weimaraner, Dierk.