- Medical School - Washington University School of Medicine (1983-1989)
- Residency - Washington University/Barnes Hospital (1989-1991), Internal Medicine
- Fellowship - Washington University/Barnes Hospital (1991-1992), Metabolism
Dwight Towler, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice Chair, Research - Internal Medicine
- Louis V. Avioli Professorship in Mineral Metabolism Research
- J.D. and Maggie E. Wilson Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Research
- Internal Medicine - Endocrinology
Dr. Towler obtained his medical degree and Ph.D. in biochemistry from Washington University, St. Louis, where his thesis work focused upon protein modification by covalent fatty acid acylation (N-myristoylation). He completed his medical residency and endocrine / metabolism fellowship at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, and is a board-certified internist and endocrinologist. 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 co-inventor of novel, patented selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) with potential clinical applications in 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 two active Research Project Grants (R01) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that delineate the hormonal regulation of arterial calcification (hardening of the arteries) in diabetes as relevant to musculoskeletal disease and lower limb amputation risk. Dr. Towler’s research has been recognized by the Charles E. Culpeper Foundation (1996), the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (Fuller Albright Award 2000), and the American Society for Clinical Investigation (elected in 2004). He currently serves on the editorial boards of Circulation Research and Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. A former regular member of the NIH Skeletal Biology Development and Disease (2004-2008) and Atherosclerosis and Inflammation of the Cardiovascular System Study Sections (2010-2014), he now serves as a member of the External Advisory Panel to the Illuminating the Druggable Genome Consortium for the NIH Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS; 2014- present). Dr. Towler’s interests outside of biomedicine include his family, kayaking, and fly fishing.
- American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (1993), Member
- The Endocrine Society (1995), Member
- American Heart Association (2003), Member
- American Society for Clinical Investigation (2004), Member
- Ira M. Lang Endowed Chair in Internal Medicine, Barnes-Jewish Hospital at Washington University Medical Center 2004-2012, Endowed Chair
- Guest Editor, Circulation Research Series of Pathobiology of Calcific Vasculopathy and Valvulopathy 2011, Invited Guest Editor
- J.D. and Maggie E. Wilson Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Sciences, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Internal Medicine - Division of Endocrinology 2015, Endowed Chair
- University of Texas System Faculty STARS Program Award, UT Southwestern Medical Center 2015, Translational Research Award
- The 12th Annual John G. Haddad, Jr., MD Memorial Lecture, University of Pennsylvania 2009, Honorary Visiting Lectureship
- Bayard D. Catherwood Lecturer and Visiting Professor, Emory University 2006, Honorary Visiting Lectureship
- Elected, American Society for Clinical Investigation 2004, Physician-Scientist Honorary Society
- Charles E. Culpeper Medical Science Scholar 1996-1999, Career Development Award
- Fuller Albright Award, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 2000, Young Investigator Award
Towler DA and Clemens T(Ed.) (2005), San Diego, CA, Elsevier
Primer on the Metabolic Bone Diseases & Disorders of Mineral Metabolism (8th Edition)
Towler, DA(Ed.) (2013), Hoboken, NJ, Wiley-Blackwell
Principles of Bone Biology, 3rd Ed.
Towler DA(Ed.) (2008), San Diego, CA, Academic Press
Vitamin D (3rd Edition)
Towler, DA(Ed.) (2011), San Diego, USA, Elsevier / Academic Press
The Parathyroids: Basic and Clinical Concepts (3rd Edition)
Towler, DA(Ed.) (2015), London, UK, Elsevier / Academic Press
- Vitamin D
Vascular calcification and aortic fibrosis: a bifunctional role for osteopontin in diabetic arteriosclerosis.
Shao JS, Sierra OL, Cohen R, Mecham RP, Kovacs A, Wang J, Distelhorst K, Behrmann A, Halstead LR, Towler DA Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology 2011 Aug 31 8 1821-33
Transcriptional regulation of SM22alpha by Wnt3a: convergence with TGFbeta(1)/Smad signaling at a novel regulatory element.
Shafer SL, Towler DA Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology 2009 May 46 5 621-35
Msx2 promotes cardiovascular calcification by activating paracrine Wnt signals.
Shao JS, Cheng SL, Pingsterhaus JM, Charlton-Kachigian N, Loewy AP, Towler DA The Journal of clinical investigation 2005 May 115 5 1210-20
Diet-induced diabetes activates an osteogenic gene regulatory program in the aortas of low density lipoprotein receptor-deficient mice.
Towler DA, Bidder M, Latifi T, Coleman T, Semenkovich CF The Journal of biological chemistry 1998 Nov 273 46 30427-34
Reciprocal regulation of osteocalcin transcription by the homeodomain proteins Msx2 and Dlx5.
Newberry EP, Latifi T, Towler DA Biochemistry 1998 Nov 37 46 16360-8
Vascular Smooth Muscle LRP6 Limits Arteriosclerotic Calcification in Diabetic LDLR-/- Mice by Restraining Noncanonical Wnt Signals.
Cheng SL, Ramachandran B, Behrmann A, Shao JS, Mead M, Smith C, Krchma K, Bello Arredondo Y, Kovacs A, Kapoor K, Brill LM, Perera R, Williams BO, Towler DA Circulation research 2015 Jun
Dkk1 and MSX2-Wnt7b signaling reciprocally regulate the endothelial-mesenchymal transition in aortic endothelial cells.
Cheng SL, Shao JS, Behrmann A, Krchma K, Towler DA Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology 2013 Jul 33 7 1679-89
A GTPase-activating protein binding protein (G3BP1) / antiviral protein relay conveys arteriosclerotic Wnt signals in aortic smooth muscle cells.
Ramachandran B, Stabley JN, Cheng SL, Behrmann AS, Gay A, Li L, Mead M, Kozlitina J, Lemoff A, Mirzaei H, Chen Z, Towler DA The Journal of biological chemistry 2018 Apr
Arterial Calcification in Diabetes Mellitus: Preclinical Models and Translational Implications.
Stabley JN, Towler DA Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology 2017 Feb 37 2 205-217
Arterial calcification and bone physiology: role of the bone-vascular axis.
Thompson B, Towler DA Nature reviews. Endocrinology 2012 Sep 8 9 529-43
Runx2 trans-activation mediated by the MSX2-interacting nuclear target requires homeodomain interacting protein kinase-3.
Sierra OL, Towler DA Molecular endocrinology (Baltimore, Md.) 2010 Jul 24 7 1478-97
Identification of anabolic selective androgen receptor modulators with reduced activities in reproductive tissues and sebaceous glands.
Schmidt A, Harada S, Kimmel DB, Bai C, Chen F, Rutledge SJ, Vogel RL, Scafonas A, Gentile MA, Nantermet PV, McElwee-Witmer S, Pennypacker B, Masarachia P, Sahoo SP, Kim Y, Meissner RS, Hartman GD, Duggan ME, Rodan GA, Towler DA, Ray WJ The Journal of biological chemistry 2009 Dec 284 52 36367-76
An osteopontin-NADPH oxidase signaling cascade promotes pro-matrix metalloproteinase 9 activation in aortic mesenchymal cells.
Lai CF, Seshadri V, Huang K, Shao JS, Cai J, Vattikuti R, Schumacher A, Loewy AP, Denhardt DT, Rittling SR, Towler DA Circulation research 2006 Jun 98 12 1479-89
MINT, the Msx2 interacting nuclear matrix target, enhances Runx2-dependent activation of the osteocalcin fibroblast growth factor response element.
Sierra OL, Cheng SL, Loewy AP, Charlton-Kachigian N, Towler DA The Journal of biological chemistry 2004 Jul 279 31 32913-23
MSX2 promotes osteogenesis and suppresses adipogenic differentiation of multipotent mesenchymal progenitors.
Cheng SL, Shao JS, Charlton-Kachigian N, Loewy AP, Towler DA The Journal of biological chemistry 2003 Nov 278 46 45969-77
Osteopontin transcription in aortic vascular smooth muscle cells is controlled by glucose-regulated upstream stimulatory factor and activator protein-1 activities.
Bidder M, Shao JS, Charlton-Kachigian N, Loewy AP, Semenkovich CF, Towler DA The Journal of biological chemistry 2002 Nov 277 46 44485-96
Reciprocal temporospatial patterns of Msx2 and Osteocalcin gene expression during murine odontogenesis.
Bidder M, Latifi T, Towler DA Journal of bone and mineral research : the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 1998 Apr 13 4 609-19
Structure-function analysis of Msx2-mediated transcriptional suppression.
Newberry EP, Latifi T, Battaile JT, Towler DA Biochemistry 1997 Aug 36 34 10451-62
Mechanism of awareness of hypoglycemia. Perception of neurogenic (predominantly cholinergic) rather than neuroglycopenic symptoms.
Towler DA, Havlin CE, Craft S, Cryer P Diabetes 1993 Dec 42 12 1791-8
Myristoyl CoA:protein N-myristoyltransferase activities from rat liver and yeast possess overlapping yet distinct peptide substrate specificities.
Towler DA, Adams SP, Eubanks SR, Towery DS, Jackson-Machelski E, Glaser L, Gordon JI The Journal of biological chemistry 1988 Feb 263 4 1784-90
Protein fatty acid acylation: enzymatic synthesis of an N-myristoylglycyl peptide.
Towler D, Glaser L Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1986 May 83 9 2812-6
Activation of vascular smooth muscle parathyroid hormone receptor inhibits Wnt/beta-catenin signaling and aortic fibrosis in diabetic arteriosclerosis.
Cheng SL, Shao JS, Halstead LR, Distelhorst K, Sierra O, Towler DA Circulation research 2010 Jul 107 2 271-82
Wnt signaling in cardiovascular disease: opportunities and challenges.
Gay A, Towler DA Current opinion in lipidology 2017 Jul
Aortic Msx2-Wnt calcification cascade is regulated by TNF-alpha-dependent signals in diabetic Ldlr-/- mice.
Al-Aly Z, Shao JS, Lai CF, Huang E, Cai J, Behrmann A, Cheng SL, Towler DA Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology 2007 Dec 27 12 2589-96
Msx-2/Hox 8.1: a transcriptional regulator of the rat osteocalcin promoter.
Towler DA, Rutledge SJ, Rodan GA Molecular endocrinology (Baltimore, Md.) 1994 Nov 8 11 1484-93
Mitochondrial ROS deficiency and diabetic complications: AMP[K]-lifying the adaptation to hyperglycemia.
Towler DA The Journal of clinical investigation 2013 Nov 123 11 4573-6
The biology and enzymology of eukaryotic protein acylation.
Towler DA, Gordon JI, Adams SP, Glaser L Annual review of biochemistry 1988 57 69-99
Inflammation and the osteogenic regulation of vascular calcification: a review and perspective.
Shao JS, Cheng SL, Sadhu J, Towler DA Hypertension 2010 Mar 55 3 579-92
Disruption of the yeast N-myristoyl transferase gene causes recessive lethality.
Duronio RJ, Towler DA, Heuckeroth RO, Gordon JI Science (New York, N.Y.) 1989 Feb 243 4892 796-800
Lp(a) Oxyphospholipids: Markers and Mediators of Vascular Mineral Metabolism in Calcific Aortic Valve Disease.
Towler DA, Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2019 May 73 17 2163-2165
Arteriosclerosis, bone biology, and calciotropic hormone signaling: learning the ABCs of disease in the bone-vascular axis.
Towler DA Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN 2015 Feb 26 2 243-5
Nutrition in Cardioskeletal Health.
Hill Gallant KM, Weaver CM, Towler DA, Thuppal SV, Bailey RL Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.) 2016 May 7 3 544-55
Commonalities Between Vasculature and Bone: An Osseocentric View of Arteriosclerosis.
Towler DA Circulation 2017 Jan 135 4 320-322
Targeted reduction of vascular Msx1 and Msx2 mitigates arteriosclerotic calcification and aortic stiffness in LDLR-deficient mice fed diabetogenic diets.
Cheng SL, Behrmann A, Shao JS, Ramachandran B, Krchma K, Bello Arredondo Y, Kovacs A, Mead M, Maxson R, Towler DA Diabetes 2014 Dec 63 12 4326-37
Msx2 exerts bone anabolism via canonical Wnt signaling.
Cheng SL, Shao JS, Cai J, Sierra OL, Towler DA The Journal of biological chemistry 2008 Jul 283 29 20505-22
Teriparatide (human parathyroid hormone (1-34)) inhibits osteogenic vascular calcification in diabetic low density lipoprotein receptor-deficient mice.
Shao JS, Cheng SL, Charlton-Kachigian N, Loewy AP, Towler DA The Journal of biological chemistry 2003 Dec 278 50 50195-202
The RRM domain of MINT, a novel Msx2 binding protein, recognizes and regulates the rat osteocalcin promoter.
Newberry EP, Latifi T, Towler DA Biochemistry 1999 Aug 38 33 10678-90
Regulation of osteocalcin gene expression by a novel Ku antigen transcription factor complex.
Willis DM, Loewy AP, Charlton-Kachigian N, Shao JS, Ornitz DM, Towler DA The Journal of biological chemistry 2002 Oct 277 40 37280-91
Stimulus-selective inhibition of rat osteocalcin promoter induction and protein-DNA interactions by the homeodomain repressor Msx2.
Newberry EP, Boudreaux JM, Towler DA The Journal of biological chemistry 1997 Nov 272 47 29607-13
Purification and characterization of yeast myristoyl CoA:protein N-myristoyltransferase.
Towler DA, Adams SP, Eubanks SR, Towery DS, Jackson-Machelski E, Glaser L, Gordon JI Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1987 May 84 9 2708-12
Specificity of fatty acid acylation of cellular proteins.
Olson EN, Towler DA, Glaser L The Journal of biological chemistry 1985 Mar 260 6 3784-90
- Vascular calcification and aortic fibrosis: a bifunctional role for osteopontin in diabetic arteriosclerosis.
- Wnt signaling
- Transcriptional regulation
- Protein Arginine Methylation / Demethylation
- Cardiovascular calcification
- Bone and Mineral Disease