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Katharine Ashley Whartenby, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Neurology
Research Interests: Immunology; Neuroimmunology; Gene Transfer technology; Stem Cells
Dr. Katharine Ashley Whartenby is associate professor in the The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Department of Neurology, Department of Oncology and in Cellular and Molecular Medicine.
Her research focuses on understanding the biology of multiple sclerosis and neuroimmunology. Dr. Whartenby has patents pending for Immune modulation through targeting of the MINOR gene and for use of FLT3 inhibitors as immunosuppressants. Her team is currently engaged in analyzing immunological mechanisms by which people with multiple sclerosis suffer from infectious disease complications.
Dr. Whartenby received her bachelor of arts in biology and english, Cum Laude, at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. She earned a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology at the University of Rochester in New York, and also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in immunology at the University of Rochester. Dr. Whartenby joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2003.
Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Dr. Whartenby was a microbiologist at the Food and Drug Administration as well as an assistant professor of medicine at Brown University School of Medicine in Providence, Rhode Island.
She is an active member of the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Association of Immunologists.
- Associate Professor of Neurology
- Associate Professor of Oncology
Centers & Institutes
- B.A., Amherst College (Massachusetts) (1986)
- Ph.D., University of Rochester (New York) (1992)
Research & Publications
My lab is focused on understanding the biology of multiple sclerosis and neuroimmunology. In one area of investigation, we have been analyzing immunological mechanisms by which people with multiple sclerosis suffer from infectious disease complications. In addition, we have areas of investigation in basic immunology and in stem cell biology.
Accelerated axon loss in MOG35-55 experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in myelin-associated glycoprotein-deficient (MAGKO) mice. Jones MV, Nguyen TT, Ewaleifoh O, Lebson L, Whartenby KA, Griffin JW, Calabresi PA. J Neuroimmunol. 2013 Sep 15;262(1-2):53-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2013.06.008. Epub 2013 Jul 27. PMID: 23899666
Behavioral and pathological outcomes in MOG 35-55 experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Jones MV, Nguyen TT, Deboy CA, Griffin JW, Whartenby KA, Kerr DA, Calabresi PA. J Neuroimmunol. 2008 Aug 13;199(1-2):83-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2008.05.013. Epub 2008 Jun 25. PMID: 18582952
Induction of the glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper gene limits the efficacy of dendritic cell vaccines. Lebson L, Wang T, Jiang Q, Whartenby KA. Cancer Gene Ther. 2011 Aug;18(8):563-70. doi: 10.1038/cgt.2011.23. Epub 2011 May 6. PMID: 21546924
An open-label trial of combination therapy with interferon beta-1a and oral methotrexate in MS. Calabresi PA, Wilterdink JL, Rogg JM, Mills P, Webb A, Whartenby KA. Neurology. 2002 Jan 22;58(2):314-7. PMID: 11805267
Immune modulation through targeting of the MINOR gene
Patent # (pending)
Use of FLT3 inhibitors as immunosuppressants
Patent # (pending)
Academic Affiliations & Courses
Courses and Syllabi
CMM Topics Class
The Johns Hopkins University
Principles of Neuroimmunology Course
School of Public Health, JHU
Graduate Immunology (Noel Rose, course director)
Activities & Honors
- American Association for Cancer Research, 1999
- American Association of Immunologists, 2009
- Participant, Community Science Day, 2006 - 2010
- Advisor, new seminar series for Friends School of Baltimore focusing on introducing high school students to biology and medicine., 2013 - 2014
Videos & Media
Lectures and Presentations
American Society of Bone Marrow Transplant Meeting
Session Chair (01/01/2005)
American Society of Gene Therapy
Session Chair (01/01/2006)
Recent News Articles and Media Coverage