Department of Dermatology

Sarah Kern Whitley, MD, PhD

  • 3rd Year Resident: PGY-IV

Sarah Whitley, MD, PhD, began her residency with the University of Pittsburgh in July of 2014.

She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan. She is a graduate of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), where she completed a graduate thesis concerning Th17 development and function in the laboratory of Dr. Casey Weaver. She completed an internship in internal medicine at UAB prior to matriculating at the University of Pittsburgh for dermatology residency training.  

Education & Training

  • Undergraduate, University of Michigan
  • MD, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Internship, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Post-baccalaureate Intramural Research Fellowship, NIAID, NIH

Representative Publications


Whitley SK, Lee Y-K, Balasubramani A, Sen R, Shibata Y, Crawford GE, Hatton RD, and Weaver CT. IL-1R signaling promotes STAT3 and NF-kB factor recruitment to distal cis-regulatory elements that regulate Il17a/f transcription. In review, J Biol Chem.


Whitley SK, Horne WT, and Kolls JK. Research techniques made simple: methodology and clinical applications of RNA-sequencing: J Invest Dermatol (2016) Aug; 136(8):e77-82.


Whitley SK*, Basu R*, Bhaumik S, O’Quinn DB, Schoeb TR, Hatton RD, and Weaver CT. IL-1 signaling differentially modulates activation of STAT family transcription factors to control Th17-iTreg developmental balance. *denotes co-first authorship. Nat Immunology (2015) Mar; 16(3):286-95.


Mukasa R, Balasubramani A, Lee YK, Whitley SK, Weaver BT, Shibata Y, Crawford GE, Hatton RD, Weaver CT. Epigenetic instability of cytokine and transcription factor gene loci underlies plasticity of the T helper 17 cell lineage. Immunity (2010) May 12; 32(5):616-27.


Kinter AL, Hennessey M, Bell A, Kern S, Lin Y, Daucher M, Planta M, McGlaughlin M, Jackson R, Ziegler SF, Fauci AS. CD25(+)CD4(+) regulatory T cells from the peripheral blood of asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals regulate CD4(+) and CD8(+) HIV-specific T cell immune responses in vitro and are associated with favorable clinical markers of disease status. J Exp Med, (2004) Aug 2; 200(3):331-43.


Shalhoub P, Kern S, Girard S, Beretta L. Proteomic-based approach for the identification of tumor markers associated with hepatocellular carcinoma. Dis Markers (2001); 17(4): 217-23.

Research Interests

 Cutaneous immunology, genomics, translational research

Specialized Areas of Interest

Medical Dermatology, inflammatory skin disease, infectious diseases