Dr Joshua ScallanJoshua (Josh) T Butcher, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Physiological Sciences/College of Veterinary Medicine
Oklahoma State University


Research Description:

My research interest revolves around understanding the mechanistic links by which skeletal muscle health can prevent disease states. Within that paradigm, my lab is currently funded to study the dynamic interplay between obesity, aging, and skeletal muscle (dys)function. My research looks at how manipulation of skeletal muscle (using exercise mimetics) can attenuate co-morbidities (such as hypertension, diabetes, oxidant stress) that frequently accompany obesity. We are expanding into an aging paradigm, termed sarcopenic obesity, whereby the muscle loss that accompanies obesity becomes synergistic with aging (sarcopenia). The major goals are to determine the mechanistic links that drive obesity-derived cardiometabolic dysfunction; emphasizing vascular function, the role of glucose homeostasis, oxidant stress, and skeletal muscle fiber types.

Lab Website:


Top lesson you have learned in your career:

I think it was Einstein who said “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." These are two traits I really try hard to foster in my lab and preserve in myself. Sometimes the science can lead in directions that don’t necessarily fit the “hypothesis”. Follow the science anyway! So far, I’ve kept my passion and my curiosity and thoroughly enjoyed the ride that my research career has taken me on!

Recent Publications:

  • Increased Muscle Mass Protects Against Hypertension and Renal Injury in Obesity. Butcher JT, Mintz JD, Larion S, Qiu S, Ruan L, Fulton DJ, Stepp DW. J Am Heart Assoc. 2018 Aug 21;7(16):e009358. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.118.009358.
  • Effect of myostatin deletion on cardiac and microvascular function. Butcher JT, Ali MI, Ma MW, McCarthy CG, Islam BN, Fox LG, Mintz JD, Larion S, Fulton DJ, Stepp DW. Physiol Rep. 2017 Dec;5(23):e13525. doi: 10.14814/phy2.13525. PMID: 29192067