Department of Dermatology

Sarah Whitley, MD, PhD

  • Assistant Professor

Sarah Whitley, MD, PhD joined the faculty of the Department of Dermatology in 2017, after completing a Research Track Dermatology Residency at the University of Pittsburgh.  Dr. Whitley completed her undergraduate degree in microbiology at the University of Michigan; she simultaneously earned her medical degree and PhD in immunology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where her graduate work investigated the mechanisms that control the development and function of the Th17 effector CD4 lineage.

Dr. Whitley practices general dermatology, including treatment of diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, and autoimmune, infectious, and immunobullous conditions. She has special interest in T helper 17 cell-driven inflammatory skin diseases including psoriasis and cutaneous fungal infections.

Dr. Whitley is also an early career investigator currently pursuing an Investigative Dermatology fellowship in the laboratory of Daniel Kaplan, MD, PhD, where her research seeks to understand the interplay of innate and adaptive skin immune cell types that orchestrate host protective Th17 immunity and, in some instances, incite autoimmune skin disease.

Professional Memberships

  • American Academy of Dermatology
  • Pittsburgh Academy of Dermatology
  • Medical Dermatology Society
  • Women’s Dermatologic Society
  • Society of Investigative Dermatology
  • American Society of Dermatologic Surgery
  • American Association of Immunologists

Education & Training

  • B.S., University of Michigan
  • Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • M.D., University of Alabama School of Medicine
  • Internship, University of Alabama Medical Center
  • Residency, Dermatology, University of Pittsburgh

Representative Publications

Dr. Whitley’s publications can be reviewed at the National Library of Medicine’s public database. 

Research Interests

  • Translational research in immune-mediated inflammatory skin diseases with an emphasis on tissue resident memory T cell development and maintenance requirements and counter-regulation of T cell activation.
  • Design and mechanistic evaluation of targeted therapies for autoimmune diseases.

Research Grants

  • National Psoriasis Foundation Early Career Research Award (2019-2020)
  • American Skin Association Research Grant for Psoriasis/Inflammatory Skin Disease (2019-2020)
  • NIAMS Extramural Clinical Research NIH Loan Repayment Grant (2018-2020)
  • NIH T32 Autoimmunity and Immunopathology (2017-2019)