Mary C. Whitman, M.D., Ph.D.

Harvard Medical School
Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology

Boston Children’s Hospital
Staff Physician

Research Summary

Research Summary

Dr. Whitman studies the growth and guidance of the oculomotor nerve in normal development and in complex forms of strabismus, using explants and live imaging in slice cultures from genetically modified mice.  Congenital Fibrosis of the Extraocular Muscles (CFEOM) is a genetic form of strabismus associated with deficits in eye movements, caused by improper innervation of the cranial nerves.  Using a mouse model of CFEOM, she is defining the cues and pathway necessary for proper axon guidance of the oculomotor nerve.

Selected Publications

For a full publication list, please see her CV.

Whitman MC, MacNeill K, Hunter DG. Bifocals Fail to Improve Stereopsis Outcomes in High AC/A Accommodative Esotropia. Ophthalmology. 2016 Apr;123(4):690-6.

Whitman MC, Andrews C, Chan WM, Tischfield MA, Stasheff SF, Brancati F, Ortiz-Gonzalez X, Nuovo S, Garaci F, MacKinnon SE, Hunter DG, Grant PE, Engle EC. Two unique TUBB3 mutations cause both CFEOM3 and malformations of cortical development. Am J Med Genet A. 2016 Feb;170A(2):297-305.

Michalak SM*, Whitman MC*, Park JG*, Tischfield MA, Nguyen EH, Engle EC. Ocular Motor Nerve Development in the Presence and Absence of Extraocular Muscle. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017 Apr 1;58(4):2388-2396.

Whitman MC, Engle EC. Ocular Congenital Cranial Dysinnervation Disorders (CCDDs): Insights into Axon Growth and Guidance. Hum Mol Genet. 2017 Aug1;26(R1):R37-R44.

Whitman MC, Vanderveen DK. Complications of pediatric cataract surgery. Semin Ophthalmol. 2014 Sep-Nov;29(5-6):414-20.

View a complete list of publications on>>

View a complete list of publications on Google Scholar>>



2001: A.B., Biochemical Sciences, Harvard College

2008: Ph.D., Neurobiology, Yale University

2009: M.D., Yale School of Medicine

Postgraduate Training

2010: Internship, Medicine, New York University

2013: Residency, Ophthalmology, Columbia University

2014: Fellowship, Pediatric Ophthalmology, Boston Children’s Hospital

Academic Appointments

2014-present: Instructor in Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School

Professional Memberships

2003-2009, 2014-present: Society for Neuroscience

2004-2009: Association for Chemoreception Sciences

2010-2014: New York Ophthalmological Society

2010-present: American Academy of Ophthalmology

2013-present: American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS)

2014-2016: American Medical Association

2014-present: Massachusetts Medical Society

2015-present: Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)

2017-present: Massachusetts Society of Eye Physicians & SUrgeons

Selected Honors

2000: Fellowship, Harvard College Research Fund

2007: Association for Chemoreception Sciences Student Travel Award

2009: The Selma and Karl Folkers Prize in Biochemical Research

2012: B. Dobli Srinivasan Award Best Clinical Research Paper, Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

2013-2014: Heed Foundation Fellow