Whitney received a B.S. in Biology/B.A. in English from Lenoir-Rhyne, a liberal arts college in the North Carolina foothills, and a Ph.D in Genetics and Molecular Biology at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.
At UNC she worked in the lab of Dr. Larysa Pevny studying the role of the neural determination gene SOX2 in retinal development. She then came to Stanford to complement my experience in mouse genetics with further training in computational biology, switching from the retina to the brain in the meantime. At Stanford, she work jointly under Dr. Sue McConnell and Dr. Gill Bejerano studying gene interaction networks that pattern the development of the neocortex, the part of the brain important for higher cognition and often affected in neurodevelopmental disorders.