Dr. John Butler hails from the giant state of Rhode Island. He grew up in Burrillville, a small town that has more than its fair share of cancer. Whether it was the benzene derivatives left in the water column from the long abandoned textile mills, the radon emanating from the ubiquitous granite ledges, or the towns proclivity for Marlboro Reds, growing up there, John always knew someone with a new cancer diagnosis. His small community shared in the anticipation of diagnoses, the side effects of treatment, and the financial burdens. Being present for both the remissions and funerals, John became dedicated to studying tumor biology, and working to guide others through the complexity of cancer treatment.
John attended the University of Rhode Island before receiving additional training at RI School of Medical Technology as a certified Clinical Laboratory Scientist. He then went on to work in a bustling blood bank and molecular diagnostics lab at Rhode Island Hospital. Prior to medical school, John also worked as a drummer in a sought-after wedding band, and as a research engineer in the lab of Jeanne Bentley Lawrence at UMASS Medical School. In 2015, John joined the Medical Scientist Training Program at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon, earning a PhD in 2020 and an MD in 2022. His dissertation focused on the tumor microenvironment and early disease detection in the setting of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML). After graduating, John completed his internship at Providence Sacred Heart in Spokane, Washington. This led John to the University of California San Diego, where he will complete his residency training in the Department of Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences. As a Radiation Oncologist, John’s ultimate goal is to bring academic-level cancer care and the power of the “golden ray” to small towns—just like the one he came from.
Outside of work John enjoys waiting in line, writing in third person, and sarcasm. In his free time, he can usually be found fixing something that isn’t broken, playing the drums, or exploring what is left of the great outdoors.