CSC Distinguished Service Award Recipient Dr Merlin Butler To Deliver Graduation Address 35 Years Later


Distinguished physician, researcher, and professor Dr Merlin Butler will deliver the graduation address at the Chadron State College undergraduate commencement ceremony Saturday afternoon at 1:00 in the Chicoine Center.

Butler was raised on a small farm or ranch in the Sandhills, attended a rural one room schoolhouse until eighth grade and graduated from Stuart High School in 1970. He attended Chadron State College and graduated in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education and a year later with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Biology-Pre-Medicine. Butler received a Distinguished Service Award from CSC in 1986.

Butler earned his medical degree from the University of Nebraska in 1978 and completed an American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMG) accredited fellowship in medical genetics in 1983. He became a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Genetics in 1984 and earned his Doctor of Philosophy from Indiana University. He became a Founding Fellow

of the ABMG in 1993. Before joining the faculty at the Kansas University Medical Center in 2008, he was a tenured Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Pathology and Director of the Regional Genetics Program at Vanderbilt University.

From 1998 to 2008, he was Section Chief of Medical Genetics and Molecular Medicine at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. Butler also served as a Professor of Pediatrics and recipient of the William R. Brown Endowed Chair in Medical Genetics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine.

Since 2012, Butler has been the Director of the Division of Research and Genetics within the clinical department at the Kansas University Medical Center, the Medical Director of the Genetics Clinic, and a tenured Professor of Psychiatry, Behavioral Sciences and Pediatrics.

He is ABMG board certified in Clinical Genetics and Clinical Cytogenetics and has established clinical practice experience in diagnosing and treating complex genetic disorders, rare diseases with behavior problems and intellectual disabilities such as fragile X, Burnside-Butler, and Angelman syndromes, with expertise in the diagnosis, treatment, natural history studies, and genetic subtype- phenotype correlations specifically with Prader-Willi syndrome.

Butler is married to Ranae Kisker, a retired dietician, originally from McCook, Nebraska. The couple has two children, Brian and Michelle. Michelle is a financial planner living in Nashville. She and her husband, Jeff, have three sons. Brian, who is a mechanical engineer lives with his wife, Brittney, and two daughters, in Shawnee, Kansas. They enjoy family vacations involving sightseeing, outdoor activities, hiking, and fishing.

—CSC College Relations