Lab Members


Clockwise from the bottom: Stuart Thompson, Terri Young, Nickie Stangel, Sean Martin, and Kristina Whisenhunt. 

Terri Young, MD, MBA
Professor and Chair
Terri L. Young, MD, MBA is the Peter A. Duehr Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

An internationally renowned physician-scientist, Dr. Young joined the Department in 2014. She was professor of ophthalmology, pediatrics and medicine at Duke University and founding director of the Duke Eye Center Ophthalmic Genetics Clinic and Research Program. She also held the titles of adjunct Professor of Neurosciences and Behavioral Disorders at the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School.

With more than 200 published peer-reviewed papers and 10 book chapters, Dr. Young has built an impressive record of competitive grant funding as an investigator. Her research specializes in genetic studies of refractive errors, eye development and growth, primary congenital glaucoma and other inherited ocular disorders.

Dr. Young received her bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College in 1981; her M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1986; and her M.B.A. from Duke in 2012. She performed her ophthalmology residency training at the University of Illinois-Chicago and a pediatric-ophthalmology fellowship at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Pubmed

Stuart Tompson, PhD
Associate Scientist
After graduating with a BSc in Biochemistry from Imperial College, London, I earned my PhD in Human Molecular Genetics in the research group of Prof. Judith Goodship at the International Centre for Life (Newcastle University, UK). My doctoral studies investigated the molecular basis of Ellis-van Creveld syndrome, a rare skeletal dysplasia, and led to the identification of EVC2, a new gene that accounted for all unresolved (50%) cases of the disease. I then joined Prof. Daniel Cohn’s group in Los Angeles where, as a post-doctoral fellow at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and then later as an Assistant Scientist at UCLA, I discovered the molecular bases of an extreme form of short stature (2’2” adult height; ACAN gene) and a severe skeletal dysplasia called fibrochondrogenesis (COL11A1 and COL11A2 genes), which accounted for all cases of the disease. I also developed a murine model for a spectrum of skeletal dysplasias caused by mutations in the calcium channel-encoding TRPV4 gene. Subsequently, I joined an outpost of Prof. Terri Young’s research team at Duke-NUS (Singapore) where I obtained knowledge of next-generation sequencing technology (exome) data processing. Now I guide the research team at UW-Madison to enable identification of gene mutations that cause hereditary disorders of the eye. Aside from the excitement of performing novel research, I enjoy mentoring at all levels of education (from high school to post-doctoral). Outside of the lab, I relax with my wife, with whom I have embarked on the greatest collaborative experiment of all: our baby daughters. Pubmed

Kristina Whisenhunt
Lab Manager and Research Specialist
I earned my B.S Degree in Biology with a concentration in Zoology from University of North Carolina at Pembroke. I then moved to Raleigh, NC where I accepted a job at LabCorp working in an infectious disease diagnosis lab. After 3 years of working at LabCorp, I accepted a position with Dr. Terri Young in her eye disease research group at Duke University. In 2014, Dr. Young accepted the position as the Peter A. Duehr Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, and I joined her here in Wisconsin as her lab manager. Outside of work I enjoy yoga, archery, auto crossing, aerial art/anything circus and spending time exploring all things “Wisconsin” with my husband and daughter.

Lab Alumni 

Bethany Kloss (Research Associate (Postdoctoral), 2014-2016)

Emily Higuchi (Genetic Counselor, 2015-2017)

Samuel Huang (Medical Student, 2015-2016)

Weeden Bauman (Shapiro Student, 2016)

Ashley Shafawnne Crawford (RUSCH Student, 2016)

Kevin Bao Hoan Vo (Shapiro Student, 2017)

Michael David Loebertman (Student Hourly, 2017)


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