Research/Areas of Interest:

Defining the function of specific ubiquitinating enzymes in regulation of cell division and differentiation in lens and retina cells/tissues; determining roles for the ubiquitin pathway in recognition and removal of damaged proteins


  • PhD, Immunology, School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University


Dr. Elizabeth Whitcomb is Scientist III on the Nutrition and Vision Team at the HNRCA. She received her PhD in Immunology from the School of Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University and was a postdoctoral fellow and research assistant professor at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon, where she won the Tartar Research Fellowship Award. Dr. Whitcomb and her colleagues are leaders in investigating the role of ubiquitin and the proteasome in lens cell biology. She discovered that the ubiquitin conjugating enzyme, UbcH7, plays a bigger role than was previously thought in the control of the cell cycle and proliferation. Additionally, UbcH7 can affect the turnover of cell cycle regulatory proteins in an unexpected manner.