About Mary Whitman, MD, PhD

Dr. Whitman is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. After earning her Medical Degree at Yale University School of Medicine, Dr. Whitman completed her Ophthalmology residency at Columbus University/New York Presbyterian. She went on to complete a Pediatric Ophthalmology Fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital. She specializes in pediatric ophthalmology, with an emphasis on strabismus and genetic eye diseases and disorders.

Departments, Centers, & Programs:

Clinical Interests:


Medical Education

  • MD, Yale University School of Medicine
  • Residency, Columbia University Medical Center (Harkness)
  • Residency, New York University Medical Center
  • Fellowship, Boston Children's Hospital
  • Fellowship, Brigham and Women's Hospital

American Board Certifications

  • Ophthalmology, American Board of Ophthalmology


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.


  • Fujiki R, Lee JY, Jurgens JA, Whitman MC, Engle EC. Isolation and Culture of Oculomotor, Trochlear, and Spinal Motor Neurons from Prenatal Islmn:GFP Transgenic Mice. J Vis Exp. 2019 Nov 12; (153).

    Tenney AP, Livet J, Belton T, Prochazkova M, Pearson EM, Whitman MC, Kulkarni AB, Engle EC, Henderson CE. Etv1 Controls the Establishment of Non-overlapping Motor Innervation of Neighboring Facial Muscles during Development. Cell Rep. 2019 Oct 08; 29(2):437-452.e4.

    Whitman MC, Miyake N, Nguyen EH, Bell JL, Matos Ruiz PM, Chan WM, Di Gioia SA, Mukherjee N, Barry BJ, Bosley TM, Khan AO, Engle EC. Decreased ACKR3 (CXCR7) function causes oculomotor synkinesis in mice and humans. Hum Mol Genet. 2019 09 15; 28(18):3113-3125. 

    Whitman MC, Bell JL, Nguyen EH, Engle EC. Ex Vivo Oculomotor Slice Culture from Embryonic GFP-Expressing Mice for Time-Lapse Imaging of Oculomotor Nerve Outgrowth. J Vis Exp. 2019 Jul 16; (149). 

    Drack AV, Miraldi Utz V, Wang K, Alcorn DM, Brooks BP, Costakos DM, Couser NL, Heon E, Levin AV, Lloyd IC, Morse CL, Schmitt MA, Whitman MC, Traboulsi EI. Survey of practice patterns for the management of ophthalmic genetic disorders among AAPOS members: report by the AAPOS Genetic Eye Disease Task Force. J AAPOS. 2019 Aug; 23(4):226-228.e1. 

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