We are interested in fundamental aspects of cell-cell recognition, migration and development with the mammalian immune system as a model. We use molecular and genetic approaches to study the development and trafficking of white blood cells (e.g. lymphocytes, dendritic cells), including their interactions with the endothelial lining of blood vessels at sites of leukocyte extravasation, their chemotactic responses in tissues, and their programming by environmental factors in lymphoid tissues and within mucosal surfaces. A complementary interest is in the genetic and environmental control of endothelial cell specialization, which determines the sites, pace and specificity of leukocyte recruitment from the blood.
Although our focus is on fundamental problems in biology, the work is intrinsically translational and the laboratory is interested in applying its molecular and cellular discoveries to models of infection and immune pathology: examples include genetic studies of GPCR's and assessment of antibody- or cell-based therapeutics in models of inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, neurologic disorders (experimental allergic encephalomyelitis, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease), cancer, aging and infection.
The Butcher Lab is part of the Department of Pathology at Stanford School of Medicine and the Laboratory of Immunology and Vascular Biology at the Palo Alto VA Health Care System and the Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR).