Samantha Joanna Butler
Professor, Neurobiology, University of California Los Angeles
610 Charles E Young Drive East
Los Angeles, CA 90095
310 825 7565
Samantha Butler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and a member of the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center since 2013. She received a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University in 1996. As a graduate student with Yash Hiromi at Princeton University, Dr. Butler studied the genetic mechanisms that establish neural identity in the Drosophila eye during development. Dr. Butler then trained as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Jane Dodd at Columbia University where she focused on understanding the molecular identity of the factors that guide axons into their stereotyped trajectories in the developing spinal cord. Dr. Butler showed that molecules previously identified as morphogens, specifically the Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) family of growth factors, can act as axon guidance signals.
In her own laboratory, Dr. Butler has focused on determining how neurons translate morphogens, such as the BMPs, over time to mediate strikingly different processes in the generation of neural circuits. During the course of these studies, she identified a critical mechanism by which the rate of axon outgrowth is controlled during development. The Butler laboratory is now examining how this process can be harnessed to accelerate axon growth in a regenerative context to stimulate the repair of neural circuits. The successful implementation of this technology could result in significantly improved recovery times for patients with damaged nervous systems.
- Gupta S, Kawaguchi R, Heinrichs E, Gallardo S, Castellanos S, Mandric I, Novitch BG, Butler SJ. In vitro atlas of dorsal spinal interneurons reveals Wnt signaling as a critical regulator of progenitor expansion.. Cell reports, 2022.
- Butler SJ. The confidence to question.. Science (New York, N.Y.), 2021.
- Gupta S, Butler SJ. Getting in touch with your senses: Mechanisms specifying sensory interneurons in the dorsal spinal cord.. WIREs mechanisms of disease, 2021.
- Gupta S, Yamauchi K, Novitch BG, Butler SJ. Derivation of dorsal spinal sensory interneurons from human pluripotent stem cells.. STAR protocols, 2021.
- Alvarez S, Varadarajan SG, Butler SJ. Dorsal commissural axon guidance in the developing spinal cord.. Current topics in developmental biology, 2020.
- Vonica A, Bhat N, Phan K, Guo J, Iancu L, Weber JA, Karger A, Cain JW, Wang ECE, DeStefano GM, O'Donnell-Luria AH, Christiano AM, Riley B, Butler SJ, Luria V. Apcdd1 is a dual BMP/Wnt inhibitor in the developing nervous system and skin.. Developmental biology, 2020.
- Frendo ME, da Silva A, Phan KD, Riche S, Butler SJ. The Cofilin/Limk1 Pathway Controls the Growth Rate of Both Developing and Regenerating Motor Axons.. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2019.
- Lisanti AJ, Vittner D, Medoff-Cooper B, Fogel J, Wernovsky G, Butler S. Individualized Family-Centered Developmental Care: An Essential Model to Address the Unique Needs of Infants With Congenital Heart Disease.. The Journal of cardiovascular nursing, 2019.
- Andrews MG, Kong J, Novitch BG, Butler SJ. New perspectives on the mechanisms establishing the dorsal-ventral axis of the spinal cord.. Current topics in developmental biology, 2018.
- Gupta S, Sivalingam D, Hain S, Makkar C, Sosa E, Clark A, Butler SJ. Deriving Dorsal Spinal Sensory Interneurons from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells.. Stem cell reports, 2018.
- Andrews MG, Del Castillo LM, Ochoa-Bolton E, Yamauchi K, Smogorzewski J, Butler SJ. BMPs direct sensory interneuron identity in the developing spinal cord using signal-specific not morphogenic activities.. eLife, 2017.
- Varadarajan SG, Butler SJ. Netrin1 establishes multiple boundaries for axon growth in the developing spinal cord.. Developmental biology, 2017.
- Varadarajan SG, Kong JH, Phan KD, Kao TJ, Panaitof SC, Cardin J, Eltzschig H, Kania A, Novitch BG, Butler SJ. Netrin1 Produced by Neural Progenitors, Not Floor Plate Cells, Is Required for Axon Guidance in the Spinal Cord.. Neuron, 2017.
- Pearson CA, Butler SJ, Novitch BG. Neuronal organization: unsticking the cadherin code.. Current biology : CB, 2014.
- Butler SJ, Bronner ME. From classical to current: analyzing peripheral nervous system and spinal cord lineage and fate.. Developmental biology, 2014.
- Kandyba E, Hazen VM, Kobielak A, Butler SJ, Kobielak K. Smad1 and 5 but not Smad8 establish stem cell quiescence which is critical to transform the premature hair follicle during morphogenesis toward the postnatal state.. Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio), 2014.
- Gaber ZB, Butler SJ, Novitch BG. PLZF regulates fibroblast growth factor responsiveness and maintenance of neural progenitors.. PLoS biology, 2013.
- Kong JH, Butler SJ, Novitch BG. My brain told me to do it.. Developmental cell, 2013.
- Phan KD, Butler SJ. Bilaterally symmetric populations of chicken dI1 (commissural) axons cross the floor plate independently of each other.. PloS one, 2013.
- Yamauchi K, Varadarajan SG, Li JE, Butler SJ. Type Ib BMP receptors mediate the rate of commissural axon extension through inhibition of cofilin activity.. Development (Cambridge, England), 2013.
- Phan KD, Croteau LP, Kam JW, Kania A, Cloutier JF, Butler SJ. Neogenin may functionally substitute for Dcc in chicken.. PloS one, 2011.
- Phan KD, Hazen VM, Frendo M, Jia Z, Butler SJ. The bone morphogenetic protein roof plate chemorepellent regulates the rate of commissural axonal growth.. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2010.
- Hazen VM, Phan K, Yamauchi K, Butler SJ. Assaying the ability of diffusible signaling molecules to reorient embryonic spinal commissural axons.. Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE, 2010.
- Novitch BG, Butler SJ. Reducing the mystery of neuronal differentiation.. Cell, 2009.
- Yamauchi K, Phan KD, Butler SJ. BMP type I receptor complexes have distinct activities mediating cell fate and axon guidance decisions.. Development (Cambridge, England), 2008.
- Butler SJ, Tear G. Getting axons onto the right path: the role of transcription factors in axon guidance.. Development (Cambridge, England), 2006.
- Butler SJ, Dodd J. A role for BMP heterodimers in roof plate-mediated repulsion of commissural axons.. Neuron, 2003.