Malcolm Whitman received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Yale College and his PhD from the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department at Harvard University. His thesis work in the lab of Lew Cantley investigated the association of phosphatidylinositol kinases with oncogene and growth factor receptor tyrosine kinases, and culminated in the discovery of the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase signal transduction pathway. In his postdoctoral work with Doug Melton, he developed the frog embryo as a tool for studying mechanisms of growth factor signaling during early development.
As an independent investigator, Dr. Whitman has focused on transduction of TGFß superfamily signals. The laboratory identified the first Smad-interacting transcription factor, FAST-1, and established that FAST-1 has a central role in the regulation of early developmental patterning by TGFß ligands. The laboratory also pioneered the use of activation-state specific antibodies to establish endogenous patterns of TGFß superfamily signaling during development. His current research interests continue to address the problem of how TGFß superfamily ligands signal in different contexts, and how TGFß signaling might be manipulated in vivo for therapeutic purposes.
Dr. Whitman is a Professor of Developmental Biology at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and an affiliate member of the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School. He is a member of the BBS graduate program (http://www.hms.harvard.edu/dms/bbs/), an affiliate of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (http://www.hsci.harvard.edu/) the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Cancer Cell Biology Program (http://www.dfhcc.harvard.edu/research-programs/discipline-based-programs/cancer-cell-biology/ ) and a member of the executive committee for the Harvard Developmental and Regenerative Biology program (https://drb.hms.harvard.edu/).