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Photo ofDr. Brian Button obtained his Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, focusing on the structure and regulation of epithelial ion channels. Postdoctoral studies took him to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he specialized in the areas of Cystic Fibrosis and Pulmonary Research under the direction of Dr. Richard Boucher. Over the years, Dr. Button has climbed the academic ranks at UNC, serving as a Research Associate, Assistant Professor of Medicine, and as an Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

Dr. Button’s research centers on understanding the biochemistry and biophysics of the airway mucus clearance system, vital for trapping and removing pathogenic particles from the lungs. He delves deeply into the properties of mucins—massive glycoproteins coating the airway surface—and their role in diseases like cystic fibrosis and chronic bronchitis. Key research topics include the biophysical interactions of secreted and tethered mucin layers, mucin secretion regulation, and the role that glycosylation plays mucus clearance system. He also explores the mechanical sensors and effectors of mucus properties and has a profound interest in understanding mucus clearance by cilia beating and coughing. In recent years, his lab has ventured into gene therapy delivery, aiming to improve therapeutic strategies for cystic fibrosis by overcoming barriers posed by the airway surface layers. Collaborations and support span across academia and industry, including partnerships with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and numerous pharmaceutical companies.