Jeffrey A. Whitsett, MD

Co-Director, Perinatal Institute

Chief, Section of Neonatology, Perinatal and Pulmonary Biology

Academic Affiliations

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Phone 513-803-2790

Fax 513-636-7868


Cystic fibrosis research; lung morphogenesis; control of gene expression in the respiratory epithelium; gene delivery and therapy 

Visit the Whitsett Lab.

Jeffrey A. Whitsett, MD, is chief of the Section of Neonatology, Perinatal and Pulmonary Biology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Dr. Whitsett received his medical degree from Columbia University, in New York, and has been a faculty member since 1977. He is internationally known for his research in pulmonary medicine, as well as for his clinical expertise in neonatology.

Dr. Whitsett has made a series of groundbreaking contributions in pulmonary medicine. His major pioneering work has been on surfactant proteins A, B, C and D, cloning their genes, and clarifying their roles in lung development.

Throughout his career, Dr. Whitsett has had the remarkable ability to move from molecular biology, to animal models, to diagnosis and therapy of human disease. He played a critical role in making surfactant protein replacement a routine tool for treating immature lungs and respiratory distress syndrome in premature infants. His laboratory has contributed to the identification of a number of genes critical for lung formation and function. Mutations in genes regulating surfactant homeostasis were shown to cause acute and chronic lung disease in infants and adults.

Dr. Whitsett is a member of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences and is the recipient of the Mead Johnson Award, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Merit Award, the first Julius Comroe Lectureship in Pulmonary Research from FASEB, the William Cooper Procter Award from Cincinnati Children's, the Amberson Lecture Award of the American Thoracic Society, the prestigious Daniel Drake Medal for scientific contributions from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, the International Arvo Ylppö Medal from the Finnish Foundation for Pediatric Research and the Grand Hamdan International Award on Neonatal Medicine from the United Arab Emirates.

Dr. Whitsett is the author of more than 400 papers in both the basic science and clinical literature.

MD: Columbia University, New York, NY, 1973.

Residency: Pediatrics, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York City, 1974 to 1976.

Fellowship: Neonatology, Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 1976 to 1977.

View PubMed Publications

Sivaprasad U, Askew DJ, Ericksen MB, Gibson AM, Stier MT, Brandt EB, Bass SA, Daines MO, Chakir J, Stringer KF, Wert SE, Whitsett JA, Le Cras TD, Wills-Karp M, Silverman GA, Khurana Hershey GK. A nonredundant role for mouse Serpinb3a in the induction of mucus production in asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011 Jan;127(1):254-61, 261.e1-6.

Lin SC, Wani MA, Whitsett JA, Wells JM. Klf5 regulates lineage formation in the pre-implantation mouse embryo. Development.2010 Dec;137(23):3953-63.

Suzuki T, Sakagami T, Young LR, Carey BC, Wood RE, Luisetti M, Wert SE, Rubin BK, Kevill K, Chalk C, Whitsett JA, Stevens C, Nogee LM, Campo I, Trapnell BC. Hereditary pulmonary alveolar proteinosis: pathogenesis, presentation, diagnosis, and therapy. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 Nov 15;182(10):1292-304.

Wang IC, Zhang Y, Snyder J, Sutherland MJ, Burhans MS, Shannon JM, Park HJ, Whitsett JA, Kalinichenko VV. Increased expression of FoxM1 transcription factor in respiratory epithelium inhibits lung sacculation and causes Clara cell hyperplasia. Dev Biol. 2010 Nov 15;347(2):301-14.

Perl AK, Riethmacher D, Whitsett JA. Conditional Depletion of Airway Progenitor Cells Induces Peribronchiolar Fibrosis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 Sep 24.

Tompkins DH, Besnard V, Lange AW, Keiser AR, Wert SE, Bruno MD, Whitsett JA. Sox2 Activates Cell Proliferation and Differentiation in the Respiratory Epithelium. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2010 Sep 20.

Meyer SE, Hasenstein JR, Baktula A, Velu CS, Xu Y, Wan H, Whitsett JA, Gilks CB, Grimes HL. Kruppel-like factor 5 is not required for K-RasG12D lung tumorigenesis, but represses ABCG2 expression and is associated with better disease-specific survival. Am J Pathol. 2010 Sep;177(3):1503-13.

Xu Y, Zhang M, Wang Y, Kadambi P, Dave V, Lu LJ, Whitsett JA. A systems approach to mapping transcriptional networks controlling surfactant homeostasis. BMC Genomics. 2010 Jul 26;11:451.

Sakagami T, Beck D, Uchida K, Suzuki T, Carey BC, Nakata K, Keller G, Wood RE, Wert SE, Ikegami M, Whitsett JA, Luisetti M, Davies S, Krischer JP, Brody A, Ryckman F, Trapnell BC. Patient-derived granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor autoantibodies reproduce pulmonary alveolar proteinosis in nonhuman primates. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 Jul 1;182(1):49-61.

Chen G, Wan H, Luo F, Zhang L, Xu Y, Lewkowich I, Wills-Karp M, Whitsett JA. Foxa2 programs Th2 cell-mediated innate immunity in the developing lung. J Immunol. 2010 Jun 1;184(11):6133-41.