Biography

Biography

Dr. Towne’s major research focus includes: 1) Social and Structural Determinants of Health Disparities (e.g., socioeconomic, minority, and rural health inequities, the intersection of health and place); 2) Aging; and 3) Global Health.

His work spans studies focused on public health (e.g., policy-relevant issues) in the US and abroad related to health disparities. He is a central member of several cross-disciplinary teams involving public health (e.g., health policy), public affairs, urban planning, medicine, geography, and nursing seeking to tackle problems from multiple social ecological levels.

Dr. Towne’s primary faculty appointment is in the School of Global Health Management and Informatics with a joint appointment with the Disability, Aging, and Technology Cluster at the University of Central Florida. He is also a faculty associate with the Center for Population Health and Aging and the Southwest Rural Health Research Center both at Texas A&M University. He also holds an adjunct faculty position in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at Texas A&M University.

He is the recipient of multiple national awards including the Judy K. Black Early Career Research Award from AAHB and has led or co-authored 75 peer-reviewed scientific articles published in national and international journals and also authored more than 100 refereed conference presentations at national or international scientific conferences. He was recently named a Fellow by AAHB in recognition of significant contributions to the field.

Education

  • Postdoctoral Training, Health Disparities and Aging Research, School of Public Health, Texas A&M University Health Science Center
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Health Services Policy and Management, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina
  • Master of Public Health (MPH), Health Promotion and Health Education, Brooks College of Health, University of North Florida
  • Bachelor of Science (BS), Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, University of North Florida

Areas of Expertise

  • Health Services Research
  • Health Policy
  • Medical Geography

Research

Research Interests

  • Social and Structural Determinants of Health Disparities
  • Aging
  • Global Health

Funded Projects

Principal Investigator. Center for Population Health and Aging (CPHA), Texas A&M University. Identifying Social and Structural Determinants of Health Disparities among at‐Risk Populations.

Co-Investigator. National Institutes of Health (NIH)-R01. Fighting Obesity by Reinventing Public Transportation: A Natural Experiment.

Co-Investigator. National Cancer Institute of NIH—R01. Physical Activity Impacts of a Planned Activity-Friendly Community: The What, Where, When and Why of Environmental Approaches to Obesity Prevention.

Co-Investigator. National Institutes of Health (NIH)-Administrative Supplement:em> Dementia-Friendly Communities to Promote Active Living in Persons with AD/ADRD. (Parent Grant: Physical Activity Impacts of a Planned Activity-Friendly Community: The What, Where, When and Why of Environmental Approaches to Obesity Prevention).

Awards

Federal Training

  • Butler-Williams Scholars Program (formerly: Summer Institute on Aging Research).
    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging. NIH Campus, Bethesda, MD. (2018 Class; July 30 – August 3, 2018)

Federal Awards

  • Recipient. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Loan Repayment Program: Health Disparities Research Award 2018 – 2019. Research Project: Rural and Minority Aging Research
    Funding Awarded: $35,000
  • Recipient. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Loan Repayment Program: Health Disparities Research Award 2015 – 2017. Research Project: Rural and Minority Aging Research
    Funding Awarded: $66,187.99

Non-Federal Awards & Fellowships

  • Fellow. Fellow American Academy of Health Behavior (FAAHB). 2020-current.
  • Recipient. 2017 Judy K. Black Early Career Research Award. American Academy of Health Behavior.
  • Recipient. 2016 Texas A&M Health Science Center, School of Public Health, Faculty Best Paper Award. Study: Geographic variations in access and utilization of cancer screening services: Examining disparities among American Indian and Alaska Native Elders.

Service

  • American Public Health Association
  • American Academy of Health Behavior
  • Cancer Alliance of Texas
  • Gerontological Society of America
  • Institute for Healthcare Improvement
  • Health Disparities, Education, Awareness, Research & Training Consortium (HDEART) Health Equity Scholars & Alumni Network
Scroll to top