Manish J. Butte, MD PhD is the E. Richard Stiehm Endowed Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UCLA, and Division Chief of Immunology, Allergy, and Rheumatology. 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 lab addressed fundamental, long-standing questions in immunology using innovative nanotechnological approaches to visualize and manipulate cells. In November 2016, he moved his lab to UCLA.

Research Interests

major focus of his lab is in understanding T cells, the major coordinating cells of the immune response, with a specific focus on mechanobiology. The group studies how mechanical forces influence T cells, with projects spanning multiple scales from the molecular level (how receptors in T cells sense forces) to the cellular (why T cells vigorously push and pull upon other cells) to the tissue (why T cells are hyper-functional in soft tissues, like autoimmune inflamed tissue, and poorly functional 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.

The second major focus of his lab is in improving the diagnosis and treatment of genetic immune diseases. His group has developed CyTOF (cytometry by time of flight mass spectrometry) as a diagnostic tool for immune diseases. His lab has developed capabilities to study novel disease-causing mutations across a number of diseases in children and adults.

Dr. Butte is clinically active, and is board certified in both Pediatrics and Allergy & Immunology. He cares for children and adults in an Immunology and Immunodeficiency Clinic, which is a Jeffrey Modell Foundation Diagnostic Center.