Director of the Advanced Magnetic Resonance Center
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
Dr. Towner, Director of the Advanced Magnetic Resonance Center at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, has extensive experience (over 30 years with over 160 refereed publications) in the use of MR techniques to assess pathophysiological processes in animal models for cancer (mainly focusing on gliomas over the past 10 years), tissue injury, inflammation (including septic encephalopathy), oxidative stress, obesity, diabetes, cardiac and bladder disorders. Dr. Towner has also used and assessed various orthotopic, xenograft and transgenic models for tumor development in the past 19 years, and has incorporated MR imaging and spectroscopy methods to detect morphological, biophysical (diffusion and perfusion), functional and metabolic alterations associated with tumor growth, neurological diseases, the assessment of therapeutic responses, and assess free radical processes in septic encephalopathy, diabetes, ALS, and gliomas. Over the past decade, Dr. Towner and his group have developed and synthesized various molecular MRI probes that target tumor vascularity (VEGFR2), tumor invasion (c-Met), inflammation (iNOS), and macromolecular free radicals. Dr. Towner and his group have also developed and assessed anti-cancer therapeutic agents, one of which, OKN-007, is currently an investigational drug undergoing clinical assessment in recurrent and newly diagnosed glioblastomas in phase Ib/IIa trials. Dr. Towner has mentored 16 Ph.D. students, 2 M.Sc. students, 8 Post-Doctoral Fellows, 2 clinical fellows, 10 Honors students, and over 30 summer students over the past 23 years.