Jonathan T. Butcher
Assistant Professor

Jonathan T. Butcher




Department of Biomedical Engineering
304 Weill Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-2703


Web Sites

Lab Web Site
Department Profile


Jonathan Butcher received a dual B.S./M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2000 and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology-School of Mechanical Engineering in 2004. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Medical University of South Carolina from 2004-2007. In 2007, he was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University.

Research Description

A key determinant for the pathogenesis of heart valve disease is the presence of congenital heart defects (CHD), alteration in normal embryonic cardiac development. Clinical studies show that 90% of all CHD is not caused by a single gene deficiency, suggesting that alterations in the microenvironment (i.e., mechanical forces) may therefore be responsible. Embryonic cardiogenesis and valvulogenesis are extremely complex, rapidly occurring 3D processes that have been difficult to study experimentally. As a result, very little has been learned about the mechanisms behind the morphological changes.

Our research focus thus is to identify principals regulating embryonic valvular development and use these to motivate regenerative engineering strategies for heart and valve disease. Our lab has developed expertise in three areas necessary to undertake this effort: mechanobiology, developmental biology, and tissue engineering.

Selected Publications

Butcher, J.T., McQuinn, T.C., Sedmera, D., Turner, D., and Markwald, R.R. (2007) Transitions in early embryonic atrioventricular valvular function correspond with changes in cushion biomechanics that are predictable by tissue composition. Circulat. Res. 100, 1503-1511.

Yalcin, H.C., Shekhar, A., Nishimura, N., Rane, A.A., Schaffer, C.B., and Butcher, J.T. (2010) Two-photon microscopy-guided femtosecond-laser photoablation of avian cardiogenesis: noninvasive creation of localized heart defects. Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol. 299, H1728-H1735.

Chui, Y.N., Norris, R.A., Mahler, G., Recknagel, A., and Butcher, J.T. (2010) Transforming growth factor β, bone morphogenetic protein, and vascular endothelial growth factor mediate phenotype maturation and tissue remodeling by embryonic valve progenitor cells: relevance for heart valve tissue engineering. Tissue Eng. Part A 16, 3375-3383.

Hjortnaes, J., Butcher, J.T., Figueiredo, J.L., Riccio, M., Kohler, R.H., Kozloff, K.M., Weissleder, R., and Aikawa, E. (2010) Arterial and aortic valve calcification inversely correlates with osteoporotic bone remodelling: a role for inflammation. Eur. Heart J. 31, 1975-1984.

Henning, A., Jiang, M., Yalcin, H.C., and Butcher, J.T. (2011) Quantitative three dimensional imaging of live avian embryonic morphogenesis via micro-computed tomography. Develop. Dynamics 240, 1949-57.

Buskohl, P.R., Sun, M.L., Thompson, R.P., and Butcher, J.T. (2012) Serotonin potentiates transforming growth factor-beta3 incuded biomechanical remodeling in avaian embryonic atrioventricular valves. PloS One 7, e42527.

Farrar, E.J., and Butcher, J.T. (2012) Valvular heart diseases in the developing world: developmental biology takes center stage. (2012) J. Heart Valve Dis. 21, 234-240 (review).

Buskohl, P.R., Jenkins, J.T., and Butcher, J.T. (2012) Computational simulation of hemodynamic-driven growth and remodeling of embryonic atrioventricular valves. Biomech. Model Mechanobiol. (Epub ahead of print).

Duan, B., Hockaday, L.A., Kang, K.H., and Butcher, J.T. (2012) 3D bioprinting of heterogeneous aortic valve conduits with alginate/gelatin hydrogels. J. Biomed. Mater Res. A, doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.34420 (Epub ahead of print).