Amanda Whipple, PhD

Principal Investigator
Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology
Harvard University


After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from The University of Oklahoma, Dr. Whipple performed graduate studies at Baylor College of Medicine. She earned her doctoral degree under the mentorship of Dr. Thomas Cooper by investigating the role of an RNA binding protein in a neuromuscular disorder, Myotonic dystrophy type I. This research piqued Dr. Whipple’s interest in the ability of RNA to cause disease and the potential to target RNA for the treatment of disease. In 2011, she accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at Ionis Pharmaceuticals, a leader in RNA therapeutics. At Ionis, Dr. Whipple and her colleagues completed proof-of-concept studies for a novel therapeutic approach for Angelman syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disease. Angelman syndrome is caused by mutations in the gene inherited from one’s mother, but not by mutations inherited from one’s father. This research inspired Dr. Whipple to ask questions about how parental gene inheritance is regulated in the brain and, in 2015, she became a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study this process. In 2019, Dr. Whipple joined the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University. Her laboratory aims to determine the function of parental-specific gene expression in normal brain development and neurodevelopmental disorders.



Udbhav Chitta

Research Assistant

Udbhav will graduate in May 2019 from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Mathematics. Prior to joining the Whipple lab, Udbhav worked as an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Rajagopal’s lab at Mass General Hospital and completed internships at Visterra Inc and Editas Medicine.



Daniel Loftus

MCO Graduate Student

Daniel is currently a first-year graduate student in the MCO program. As a member of the Whipple lab, he studies the roles of non-coding RNA in the regulation of transcription in cis at imprinted loci. Before coming to Harvard, Daniel completed his undergraduate work at the University of Texas at Austin, earning a BS in biochemistry and a BS in molecular biology. When not in the lab, Daniel enjoys playing the piano, acting, going to museums around Boston, and hanging out with his dog Janice.