Dr. Butts is an Assistant Professor, tenure track, and joined the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing in September 2018. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Exercise Medicine and the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology at University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Butts completed her PhD at Emory University with a focus on cardiovascular disease, immunology, and exercise. She received her Bachelor's of Science in Nursing from Georgia State University and her Bachelor's of Science in Biology from the University of the Virgin Islands. Dr. Butts' research interests are on physiological mechanisms of symptoms, cognitive outcomes, and Alzheimer's disease risk in persons living with and at-risk for cardiovascular disease.

Areas of Expertise

Biological Behavioral Omics
Cardiovascular Health
Caregiver Well-Being
Health Disparities
Neurocognitive Disease/Alzheimers
Symptom Science


  1. Butts B, Huang H., Hu W. T., Kehoe P. G., Miners J. S., Verble D. D., Zetterberg H., Zhao L., Wharton W. sPDGFRβ and neuroinflammation are associated with AD biomarkers & differ by race: the ASCEND study. Alzheimer’s and Dementia. [published online ahead of print, 2023 Nov 6]. Alzheimers Dement. 2023;10.1002/alz.13457. doi:10.1002/alz.13457
  2. Butts B, Hope C, Herring C, Mueller K, Gary RA,. The Effects of Exercise on Telomere Length in Persons with Heart Failure. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. Epub ahead of print. 10.1097/JCN.0000000000001044, October 6, 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/JCN.0000000000001044
  3. Butts B, Goeddel LA, Zheng J, Pat B, Powell P, Mobley J, Ahmad S, Steele C, Mcgiffin D, Davies JE, George JF, Melby SJ, Ferrario CM, and Dell’Italia LJ. (2023) Impact of Early Pericardial Fluid Chymase Activation after Cardiac Surgery. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine. Volume 10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2023.1132786
  4. Butts B, Ahmed MI, Bajaj NS, Powell PC, Pat B, Litovsky S, Gupta H, Lloyd SG, Denney TS, Zhang X, Aban I, Sadayappan S, McNamara J, Watson MJ, Ferrario CM, Collawn JF, Lewis C, Davies JE, and Dell’Italia LJ. (2020) Reduced Left Atrial Emptying Fraction and Chymase Activation in Pathophysiology of Primary Mitral Regurgitation. JACC: Basic to Translational Science. 5(2): 109-122.
  5. Butts B, Calhoun DA, Denney, Jr. TS, Lloyd SG, Gupta H, Gaddam KK, Aban I, Oparil S, Sanders PW, Patel R, Collawn JF, and Dell’Italia LJ. (2019) Plasma Xanthine Oxidase Activity Is Related to Increased Sodium and Left Ventricular Hypertrophy in Resistant Hypertension. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 134:343-349.
  6. Butts B, Butler J, Dunbar SB, Corwin, E, and Gary RA. (2018) Effects of exercise on ASC methylation and IL-1 cytokines in heart failure. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 50(9):1757-1766.
  7. Butts B, Goeddel LA, George DJ, Steele C, Davies JE, Wei CC, Varagic J, George JF, Ferrario CM, Melby SJ, and Dell'Italia LJ. (2017) Increased inflammation in pericardial fluid persists 48 hours after cardiac surgery. Circulation, 136: 2284-2286.
  8. Butts B, Butler J, Dunbar SB, Corwin E, and Gary RA. (2017) ASC Methylation and Interleukin-1beta Are Associated with Aerobic Capacity in Heart Failure. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 49(6):1072-1078.


Dr. Butts has taught Pathophysiology at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Dr. Butts received her STEM Teaching Certificate from the Center for Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.


Dr. Butts' research centers on on understanding pathophysiologic mechanisms in persons with cardiovascular disease that may serve as targets of biobehavioral interventions to improve patient outcomes, including brain and cardiovascular health. Her research activities and areas of expertise relate to the cardiovascular inflammatory response, biobehavioral risk factors, and symptoms in hypertension and heart failure. Dr. Butts conducted the first studies examining the inflammasome in heart failure, including the first study to examine biobehavioral modulation of the inflammasome in persons with cardiovascular disease. She has have examined the role of chymase in activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone-system (RAAS) in persons with cardiovascular disease, the key pathway in both Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease. She also focuses on oxidative stress as a measure of endothelial dysfunction in persons with cardiovascular disease, which is likely an important pathophysiologic mechanism in vascular Alzheimer’s disease risk. Overall, Dr. Butts' work seeks to better understand disease processes to identify physiologic markers of intervention effectiveness that relate to clinically meaningful improvements.

Read more about Dr. Butts' research at https://www.brittanybutts.com/


2023 CVSN Best Abstract Award, American Heart Association

2023 Heart of the Students Award, Emory University

2020 Heart of the Students Award, Emory University

2020 Emory Williams Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award, Emory University

2020 Early Science Investigator Award, Southern Nursing Research Society

2019 Excellence in Undergraduate Nursing Education Crystal Apple Award, Emory University

2018 Marie Cowan Promising Young Investigator Award, American Heart Association