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Tawni Tidwell Web
Tawni Tidwell
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Center for Healthy Minds

Tawni is interested in investigating the mind-body relationship foundational to facilitating healthy minds and bodies through biocultural and Tibetan medical paradigms for well-being. At the Center, she is particularly interested in work that contributes the cultural, social and environmental contexts that support practices and qualities of mind that lead to experiences of well-being across the life course, as well as aspects of its diversity among populations and their sociocultural contexts. 

Tawni is a biocultural anthropologist and Tibetan medical doctor. Her research facilitates bridges across the Western scientific tradition and the Tibetan medical tradition, along with their attendant epistemologies, ontologies and pedagogical methods. Her doctoral work focused on embodiment in textual-oral transmission and perceptual techniques in differential diagnostics.

She recently returned from a postdoctoral fellowship with the Austrian Academy of Sciences, working with ERC-funded Project RATIMED to characterize the transnational Tibetan medical (Sowa Rigpa) pharmaceutical industry. Her work focused on eastern Tibet (Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan provinces) pharmacological lineages, and its current Tibetan medical renaissance and innovation amidst challenging globalization dynamics.

In addition to her work at the Center for Healthy Minds (CHM) and private practice, she continues collaborative work on compositional chemistry and toxicology analyses of tsotel, one of the most important medicinal compounds in Tibetan medicine, with a team at Emory University partnering with Men-Tsee-Khang in India, Qinghai Provincial Tibetan Medical Hospital in Amdo, and several smaller clinics in Tibet. As an affiliated researcher with University of Vienna, she provides Tibetan medical translational and pharmacological knowledge to the Austrian Science Fund Project Sowa Rigpa and Buddhist Ritual, looking at concepts of potency in Tibetan pharmacology and medicine-compounding (menjor) for mind-body transformation.

She contributes transdisciplinary work to understanding gut metabolism disorders and cancer, and she maintains a private clinical practice and sees a broad spectrum of patients. 

Recent Publications

Tidwell, T. and J. H. Nettles. (2019). Conceptions of Potency, Purity, and Synergy-by-Design: Toward developing a Sowa Rigpa medical theory-based approach to pharmaceutical research. Special Issue on Materiality, Efficacy, and the Politics of Potent Substances, Eds. Barbara Gerke and Jan van der Valk. HIMALAYA, the Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies 23(1): 129-149.
Yeshi, K., Y. Gyal, K. Saberning, J. Phuntshok, T. Tidwell, T. Jamtsho, R. Dhondup, E. Tokar, and P. Wangchuk. (2019). Ethnotaxonomical concepts of Sowa Rigpa pharmacopoeae, botanical identification and the scientific status of the medicinal plants inhabiting the Eastern Himalayas of Bhutan. European Journal of Integrative Medicine. 100927
. doi:10.1016/j.eujim.2019.100927
Tidwell, T. (2019). Collapsing Cancer: An hermeneutical and praxis-based comparative analysis of cancer and Tibetan medical etiological categories. In Knowledge and Context in Tibetan Medicine, ed. by William McGrath. Brill Publishers.

Tidwell, T. (2016). “A comparative analysis: Mapping biomedical cancer into Tibetan medical etiological categories” (Tib. Phi lugs gso rig gi kan sar (Aizheng Cancer) zhes pa’i nad rigs de bod lugs gso rig gi ‘bras nad dang surya skran rigs gang la sbyar rung bar dpyad pa). Journal of Tibetan Medicine and Research (Tib. bod rang skyong ljongs kyi bod lugs gso rig slob gso dang nyams zhib kyi dus deb). April 2016. Lhasa, Tibetan Autonomous Region, PRC. Published under alias Rangjung Lhamo (Tibetan name for Tawni Tidwell). 

Bauer-Wu, S., C. Ozawa-de Silva, T. Lhundup, D.R. Neshar, P. Dorjee, T. Tidwell. (2014). “Tibetan Medicine for Cancer: An Overview and Review of Case Studies,” Journal of Integrative Cancer Therapies. September 2014:1-11. doi:10.1177/1534735414549624


PhD, Biocultural Anthropology, Emory University 

TMD (Tibetan Medical Doctor, Kachupa-equivalent Degree) 

Sorig Loling Tibetan Medical College of Qinghai University (2013-2015), eastern Tibet (Xining, China), graduated 2015; Men-Tsee-Khang India (2010-2013) 

MA, Anthropology, Emory University 

BS, Earth Systems, Minor in Physics, Stanford University 

What does well-being mean to me?

"Thriving in mind, body and being across varied cultural, social and environmental contexts with openness, resilience, and vibrant joy."