Gawain Willis

Gawain Willis, Ph.D.

Research & Development Director, Formulation

What makes us different is our commitment to doing things right regardless of the time it takes.



University of Illinois


Dr. Willis’s role includes turning data gathered through research into products and programs, as well as demonstrating the breadth and depth of Purina offerings to farm visitors.

“New product development is driven by the strong desire to improve something around production and quality of life for animals and those that care for them. The ‘something’ can be pretty broad from something nutritional to something about convenience or sustainability,” says Dr. Willis.

Dr. Willis’s research expertise and interests include:

  • Amino acid metabolism and translating basic amino research into amino acid requirements
  • Mathematical modeling of swine production systems
  • Comparative nutrition across animal species

“The accomplishment that I’m most proud of is pioneering amino acid availability techniques in the early 1980s, which led to a formulation system based on that data that persists to this day,” says Dr. Willis.

Dr. Willis is a founding member and director of the Mid-Continent Association for Agriculture, Biomedical Research and Education (MAABRE), an advocacy and education group for the responsible use of animals and a board-certified nutritionist in the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists.

He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois with a specialization in animal nutrition. His master’s and bachelor’s degrees in animal science are from Oklahoma State University.

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