Dwight Towler, M.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Dean and Resident Research Professor with Tenure in the Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center and a member of the Division of Endocrinology. He holds the Louis V. Avioli Professorship in Mineral Metabolism Research and the J.D. and Maggie E. Wilson Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Research. He also has a secondary appointment in the Charles and Jane Pak Center for Mineral Metabolism and Clinical Research.

Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Dr. Towler holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry with minors in mathematics and zoology from Moorhead State University in Moorhead, Minnesota, where he graduated summa cum laude. He obtained his medical degree and doctorate in biochemistry from Washington University in St. Louis, where his thesis work focused on protein modification by covalent fatty acid acylation (N-myristoylation). He completed internal medicine residency training and a fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in endocrinology, Dr. Towler joined the UT Southwestern faculty as a Professor with Tenure in 2015. He was previously on the faculty at Washington University School of Medicine as well as an adjunct professor at the University of Central Florida and the University of Florida in Gainesville.

At UT Southwestern, Dr. Towler is Co-Chair of the Internal Medicine Physician-Scientist Development Committee. He is also a member of the Internal Medicine Promotions and Tenure Review Committee, the Burroughs Welcome Fund Physician-Scientist Institutional Grant Committee, the Medical Scientist Training Program Selection Committee, the Intellectual Property Advisory Committee, and several others. 

Dr. Towler brings to UTSW expertise in the endocrine physiology of bone and vascular disease that synergizes with our Institution’s strengths in patient-oriented, bench-to-bedside translational research. Before joining UT Southwestern, Towler was the Lang Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Lipid Research at Washington University and also served as Chief, Division of Bone and Mineral Diseases for a decade. 

In addition to his career in academic medicine, Towler spent four years in the pharmaceutical industry and is a co-inventor of novel, patented selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) with potential clinical applications in the treatment of musculoskeletal frailty. His clinical interests emphasize the diagnosis and treatment of bone and mineral disorders. 

Dr. Towler is currently the Principal Investigator for projects supported by the National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. His research focuses on Wnt signaling in arterial calcification and associated protein arginine methylation/deimination regulatory relays as potential therapeutic targets in aortic and peripheral artery disease. Dr. Towler’s research has been recognized by the Charles E. Culpeper Foundation, the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians. He currently serves on the editorial board of Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. A former regular member of the NIH Skeletal Biology Development and Disease and Atherosclerosis and Inflammation of the Cardiovascular System Study Sections, he also served as a member of the External Advisory Panel to the Illuminating the Druggable Genome Consortium for the NIH Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

Dr. Towler is a member of the American Heart Association, the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, the Endocrine Society, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians.

Personal Note

Dr. Towler’s interests outside of biomedicine include his family, kayaking, and fly fishing.


Medical School
Washington University School of Medicine (1989)
Washington University/Barnes Hospital (1991), Internal Medicine
Washington University/Barnes Hospital (1992), Metabolism

Research Interest

  • Bone and Mineral Disease
  • Cardiovascular calcification
  • Protein Arginine Methylation / Demethylation
  • Transcriptional regulation
  • Wnt signaling


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Vitamin D and Cardiovascular Medicine. In Vitamin D

Towler DA and Clemens T (2005). San Diego, CA, Elsevier

Physiological Actions of PTH and PTHrP: Vascular, Cardiovascular, and CNS Biology. In The Parathyroids: Basic and Clinical Concepts (3rd Edition)

Towler, DA (2015). London, UK, Elsevier / Academic Press

Vitamin D: Cardiovascular Effects and Vascular Calcification. In Vitamin D (3rd Edition)

Towler, DA (2011). San Diego, USA, Elsevier / Academic Press

Vascular Disease and the Skeleton. In Primer on the Metabolic Bone Diseases & Disorders of Mineral Metabolism (8th Edition)

Towler, DA (2013). Hoboken, NJ, Wiley-Blackwell

Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor and Osteogenic-Angiogenic Coupling. In Principles of Bone Biology, 3rd Ed.

Towler DA (2008). San Diego, CA, Academic Press

Honors & Awards

  • Association of American Physicians
    Physician-Scientist Honorary Society (2020)
  • Louis V. Avioli Professorship in Mineral Metabolism Research
  • J.D. and Maggie E. Wilson Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Sciences, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Internal Medicine - Division of Endocrinology
    Endowed Chair (2015)
  • University of Texas System Faculty STARS Program Award, UT Southwestern Medical Center
    Translational Research Award (2015)
  • Guest Editor, Circulation Research Series of Pathobiology of Calcific Vasculopathy and Valvulopathy
    Invited Guest Editor (2011)
  • The 12th Annual John G. Haddad, Jr., MD Memorial Lecture, University of Pennsylvania
    Honorary Visiting Lectureship (2009)
  • Bayard D. Catherwood Lecturer and Visiting Professor, Emory University
    Honorary Visiting Lectureship (2006)
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation
    Physician-Scientist Honorary Society (2004)
  • Ira M. Lang Endowed Chair in Internal Medicine, Barnes-Jewish Hospital at Washington University Medical Center
    Endowed Chair (2004-2012)
  • Fuller Albright Award, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research
    Young Investigator Award (2000)
  • Charles E. Culpeper Medical Science Scholar
    Career Development Award (1996-1999)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Heart Association (2003)
  • American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (1993)
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation (2004)
  • Association of American Physicians (2020)
  • The Endocrine Society (1995)