Dr. Whitney L. Stoppel is a chemical engineer with additional expertise in striated muscle tissue engineering, materials characterization and rheology, and tissue decellularization, 3D bioreactor culture. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering with an affiliate appointment in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida. She is also a member of the UF Myology Institute. Whitney enjoys thinking about the interplay between polymer thermodynamics and reaction kinetics and then works to leverage these two completing forces within 3D material systems to develop responsive biomaterials for future applications in tissue engineering and disease treatment. Her laboratory’s research is ultimately paving the way for the development of new surgical material platforms with an emphasis new paradigms in soft tissue repair that enable clinicians/surgeons to treat patients a function of their clinical variables (age, biological sex, co-morbidities, immune status).
Prior to starting her independent lab at the University of Florida, Whitney was a Training in Education and Critical Research Skills NIH Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Postdoctoral Scholar in the Kaplan and Black laboratories in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Tufts University. Her research focused on the development and optimization of 3D biomaterials for cardiac tissue regeneration, developing methods of the inclusion of decellularized ECM into silk scaffolds and hydrogels. Whitney obtained her PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2014. During her PhD studies, she was an Institute for Cellular Engineering NSF IGERT Graduate Fellow and a Chemistry-Biology Interface NIH T32 Fellow while performing research in the laboratory of Dr. Susan C. Roberts. Her work focused on understanding the mechanics and transport properties of natural biopolymer composite materials. Specifically, her collaborative work aimed to determine how the transport and kinetics of these alginate-based materials could be leveraged to alter cell function and phenotype through collaborations with Dr. Surita R. Bhatia and Dr. Alfred J. Crosby. Whitney earned her Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree from the department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Tulane University in 2008, performing undergraduate thesis work with Dr. Brian S. Mitchell and Dr. WT Godbey.
Whitney also enjoys teaching and mentoring undergraduate students. At the University of Florida, Dr. Stoppel has taught ECH 3264 Elementary Transport Phenomena during Fall 2018, Spring 2019, and Fall 2019. At Tufts University, Dr. Stoppel taught an advanced biomedical engineering elective class, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine in Spring 2017 and Spring 2018. She also taught a first-year honors student course, Artificial Organs and Prosthetics at UMass Boston in Spring 2016.
When not doing science and engineering things for work, Whitney enjoys gardening, hanging out with her family, and spoiling her pup, Mimosa. Whitney and her significant other Evan are avid craft beer enthusiasts and continue to enjoy the breadth of craft beer available in Florida.
Dr. Stoppel’s CV can be obtained upon request and an up-to-date list of publications can be found on Google Scholar.