Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Jonathan Towne

M.D./Ph.D. Student

Jonathan Towne is a student in the South Texas Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD Program) studying eplilepsy under the mentorship of Peter Fox, MD. Jonathan studies the potential role of resting fMRI data in building pre-operative surgical maps for intractable epilepsy patients. He plans to pursue functional neurosurgery for his clinical specialty in order to further study functional networks in these patients. For his clinical specialty, Jonathan is interested in pursuing neurosurgery. 

About Me

I grew up in military family, living in a bunch of different places as a kid with my sister (Ashley) and parents, but I am mostly from the northeastern part of the US; the place I lived the longest was the DC metro area. I first came to Texas for college in 2014 and completed my bachelors degree in 2018 at Rice University in Houston, majoring in Neuroscience. Though I've been engaged in research since 2013, I've held a few other jobs as well; I worked in a book store during college, taught and tutored a few different subjects, and was a certified personal trainer. After undergrad, I moved to San Antonio to continue my education at UT Health San Antonio in the South Texas MSTP. Now, I am in my 5th year of the MD/PhD program, completing my dissertation research under the mentorship of Dr. Peter T. Fox at the Research Imaging Institute. I am working to establish a non-invasive imaging biomarker for seizure-onset laterality, to support pre-operative mapping in patients with medial temporal lobe epilepsy. After completion of the MSTP program, I plan to pursue residency in the field of neurosurgery.


Running, cooking & baking, playing guitar, lacrosse, bowling, interior design, and playing with an adorable Boston Terrier named Sheldon.

Research Topic

Neuroimaging biomarker development for pre-operative mapping in epilepsy.

Why I chose MD/PhD

I have been involved in neuroscience research since high school and found my work to be most rewarding when it can be translated to improving patient care. During my undergraduate education, I worked in a neurosurgery research lab alongside MSTP students, learned about the dual degree track, and saw how one could apply computational neuroscience techniques to improve patient care. This experience clarified my professional path and established my goal of becoming a physician-scientist.

Why I chose MD/PhD at UT Health San Antonio

The leadership team for our MSTP is unparalleled in their dedication to trainee success, tailoring each student's educational experience to their specific career goals. UT Health San Antonio offers both curricular and extracurricular training in grant writing, an impressive range of world-renowned researchers from many fields, and personalized professional development to ensure each student is optimally positioned for a career as a physician-scientist.


B.A., Neuroscience & Cognitive Science, Rice University, 2018


2023 - 2025    NIH F31 NS131025, NRSA Individual Predoctoral Fellowship

2023                 NIH T32 TR004545, CTSA Predoctoral Fellowship

2023                 AES 1060229, American Epilepsy Society Predoctoral Research Fellowship

2023                 Travel Award, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, UT Health San Antonio

2023 (x2)         Travel Award, Julio C. Palmaz Endowment for Excellence in Radiology Research

2022                Young Investigator Award, American Epilepsy Society

2022                Travel Award, Texas Advanced Computing Center

2022                Travel Award, Advanced Computational Neuroscience Network

2019                1st Place, Sonolympics Ultrasound All-State Competition

2017                NIH T90 DA022762, TPCN Summer Fellowship


Lu, Q. Y., Towne, J. M., Lock, M., Jiang, C., Cheng, Z. X., Habes, M., Zuo, X. N., & Zang, Y. F. (2022). Toward Coordinate-based Cognition Dictionaries: A BrainMap and Neurosynth Demo. Neuroscience, 493, 109-118.

Webb, M., Fischer, V., Farrell, R., Towne, J., Birnbaum, L., Rodriguez, P., & Mascitelli, J. (2022). The majority of ruptured aneurysms are small with low rupture risk scores. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 103, 148–152.

Towne, J., Eslami, V., and Fox, P. T. (2021). Sub-cortical structural change and network involvement in medial temporal lobe epilepsy: a VBM meta-analysis. [Abstract 116]. Annals of Neurology. 90(S27), S105-S106. 

Towne, J., Eslami, V., Cavazos, J. E., and Fox, P. T. (2022). Resting-state voxel-based pathophysiologic changes in medial temporal lobe epilepsy. [Abstract 3643]. Neurology. 98(18 Supplement), 3643.

Razaqyar, M., Towne, J., Chiang, F., Ishaque, M., and Fox, P. T. (2022). Evidence of Locked-in-Syndrome in Pediatric Nonfatal Drowning: Results of a Family Caregiver Survey. [Abstract 3048]. Neurology. 98(18 Supplement), 3048.

Webb, M., Fischer, V., Farrell, R., Towne, J., Birnbaum, L., Rodriguez, P., & Mascitelli, J. (2022). E-221 Most ruptured aneurysms are small with low rupture risk scores. Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery, 14(Suppl 1), A200.