Manish Butte, MD PhD


Manish J. Butte, MD PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University. He studied Physics at Brown University where he earned his Sc.B. with honors in 1993, studying mathematical neural networks in Prof. Leon Cooper's group. During this time he developed software for Microsoft and Apple, and performed research at the National Institutes of Health. He earned his M.D. degree from the Brown University School of Medicine in 1996. He then studied protein crystallography under Prof. Robert Fletterick at UCSF and graduated with a Ph.D. in Biophysics in 2000. Returning to clinical training, he completed a Pediatrics residency at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in 2003 and a clinical fellowship in Allergy & Immunology at Boston Children's Hospital in 2006, where he specialized in the care of children with immunodeficiencies, autoimmunity, auto-inflammatory disorders, asthma, and allergies. During a joint post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School (under Prof. Arlene Sharpe) and in the Harvard Chemistry & Chemical Biology Dept. (under Prof. George Whitesides), he worked on T cell inhibitory pathways and development of microfabricated tools to capture and study immune cells.

He transitioned to Stanford University in 2009 to start his own lab in the Department of Pediatrics, with courtesy appointments in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Microbiolology and Immunology. His group addresses fundamental, long-standing questions in immunology using innovative nanotechnological approaches to visualize and manipulate cells.

A major focus of his lab is in understanding the regulation of T cells, the major coordinators of the immune response, with a specific focus on mechanobiology. The group studies how T cells generate and sense mechanical forces, with projects spanning multiple scales from the molecular level (the T cell receptor and how it senses forces) to the cellular (why T cells push and pull upon antigen presenting cells) to the tissue (why T cells are hyper-functional in soft tissues, like autoimmune inflamed tissue, and poorly function in stiff tissues, like cancers). His lab has innovated tools and techniques in the use of biological atomic force microscopy (AFM) and 2-photon intravital microscopy to interrogate cells and tissues.

Dr. Butte is clinically active, and is board certified in both Pediatrics and Allergy & Immunology. He is the Associate Director of the Stanford Center for Genetic Immune Diseases, and cares for children and adults in an Genetic Immune Diseases Clinic at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford and at Stanford Healthcare.