Amanda Whipple

Assistant Professor, Molecular and Cellular Biology

B.S., The University of Oklahoma

Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine

Amanda Whipple has been designated the Milton E. Cassel Scholar for the 2020 class of Rita Allen Foundation Scholars. This special award honors the memory of a longtime President of the Rita Allen Foundation who passed away in 2004.

Our DNA represents the full library of genetic information each of us inherits from our parents. We inherit two copies of each gene—one from our mother and one from our father. Typically, the two copies are treated equally in the cell. However, the Whipple Lab studies a unique class of “imprinted genes,” in which only one parental copy is active (“expressed”) while the other is inactive (“silenced”). Many imprinted genes are expressed in the brain and are associated with diverse neurological disorders. Yet, the reasons for imprinted expression and the effects of imprinted gene activity in the brain remain largely unknown. We use molecular and bio-computational approaches to understand: (1) why genes evolved imprinted expression in the brain, (2) how imprinted genes function in neurons, and (3) how dysregulation of imprinted genes contributes to neurological diseases.