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Dr. Mark Towler

Mark Towler
BSc, MSc, PhD, CEng
416-979-5000 ext. 554518

Areas of Academic Interest


Glass science



Year University Degree
1997 University of London PhD
1993 University of Liverpool MSc
1992 Victoria University of Manchester BSc

Selected Courses

Course Code Course
BME 423 Biomaterials
BME 100 Introduction to Biomedical Engineering


How does a would-be journalist end up as a leading researcher in the field of biomaterials? If you are Mark Towler, you just follow your interests. “I love to write,” he says, “and I saw that being able to identify a problem and articulate it in writing was a big part of scientific research.”

Today, Towler is an expert in device development for medical fields like orthopedics and hematology. For example, he developed a device called Osentia, which can predict a person’s risk of fractures by assessing the proteins in a toenail or fingernail clipping.

The innovation was inspired by the premise that after 50 years of diagnosing bone disease by using X-rays to measure bone thickness, it’s actually better to assess bone flexibility by analyzing the proteins. “Sometimes it helps not to be an expert in a field you’re working in,” Towler says. “It enables you to come at a problem with a different, disruptive approach.”

Mark Towler

“Ryerson’s connections with St. Michael’s Hospital have been vital in our ability to secure major grants for our research.”

  • Fellow, Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining