Robert Akins Jr.
Co-Director, Center for Pediatric Clinical Research and Development
Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
- Ph.D., Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Pennsylvania, 1992
- B.A., Biochemistry, University of Pennsylvania, 1984
Biography: Dr. Akins received his BA and PhD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed postdoctoral training at Thomas Jefferson University and the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. He joined the Nemours faculty in 1995, and has been the Head of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Research since 1997. As Senior Scientist and Head of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Research at Nemours Biomedical Research, Dr. Akins' laboratory focuses on the development of advanced therapies to treat acquired and congenital diseases of muscle. He has a particular interest in the application of advanced biomaterials to direct the functional regeneration of diseased muscular tissues. Current projects address diseases that profoundly impact human health and include developing biosynthetic implants to treat pediatric and adult cardiovascular diseases and devising regenerative strategies to improve skeletal muscle innervation in children with physical disabilities.
In his role as Scientific Director of the Center for Pediatric Clinical Research and Development, Dr. Akins works to develop mentoring programs, training opportunities, and collaborations for clinical investigators and to facilitate the development of externally-funded, translational research programs at Nemours.
Dr. Akins currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals DNA & Cell Biology and Clinical Medicine - Pediatrics. He is an adjunct professor in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Delaware. Dr. Akins serves on advisory boards for Mollenium, Inc. (since 2001), The PMD Foundation (since 2008), and the University of Delaware's Quantitative Biology training program (since 2009). He is an inaugural Fellow of the American Heart Association Council on Cardio-Thoracic and Vascular Surgery (since 2002). He is the founding chair of the Institutional Biosafety Committee at Nemours/Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children, and is the program chair for the Nemours Symposia on Pediatric Medical Research, which he established in 2001. He currently holds four patents in the areas of protein detection and separation.