Dr. Rebecca Kuntz Willits

Dr. Rebecca Kuntz Willits

Title: Margaret F. Donovan Endowed Chair, Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Biomedical Engineering (Graduate)
Dept/Program: Biomedical Engineering
Office: ASEC 275D
Phone: 330-972-6587
Fax: 330-972-3939
Email: willits@uakron.edu
Website: http://gozips.uakron.edu/~willits


Professor Willits joined The University of Akron in 2010 as the Margaret F. Donovan Endowed Chair for Women in Engineering. She started her academic career as an Assistant Professor at Saint Louis University, where she received her tenure in Biomedical Engineering.

Research Accomplishments

Professor Willits' research is interdisciplinary by nature, combining biology, chemistry, and engineering to design new materials for drug delivery and tissue regeneration. Currently, one research thrust in her laboratory is the impact of three-dimensional material properties on cell behavior. In addition, she is interested in the impact of short duration electrical stimulation on nerve regeneration.


  1. Marquardt, L.* and R.K. Willits. Neurite Growth in PEG Gels: Effect of Mechanical Stiffness and Laminin Concentration. Journal of Biomedical Materials, Part A. 2011.
  2. Flake, M., P.K. Nguyen, R.A. Scott*, L.R. Vandiver*, R.K. Willits, and D.L. Elbert. Poly(ethylene glycol) microparticles produced by precipitation polymerization in aqueous solution. Biomacromolecules. 12(3):844-850. 2011.
  3. Scott, R.A.* and R.K. Willits. “Future applications of injectable biomaterials: use of microgels as modular injectable scaffolds” in Injectable Biomaterials. Edited by Brent Vernon. 2010.
  4. Scott, R.A.*, L. Marquardt*, and R.K. Willits. Characterization of poly(ethylene glycol) gels with added collagen for neural tissue engineering. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, Part A. 93A: 817- 823, 2010.
  5. Scott, E.A., M.D. Nichols, R.K. Willits, and D.L. Elbert. Modular scaffolds assembled around living cells using poly(ethylene glycol) microspheres with macroporation via a non-cytotoxic porogen. Acta Biomaterialia. 6(1): 29-38. 2010. * indicates undergraduate co-authors


PhD in Chemical Engineering, Cornell University, 1999; MS in Chemical Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, 1996; BS in Chemical Engineering, Tufts University, 1994