ACell’s Scientific Advisory Board brings industry expertise and unparalleled guidance from a renowned group of surgeons.

Anthony Atala, M.D.


Dr. Atala is a renowned surgeon, researcher and expert on tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and stem cell biology. His work focuses on growing and expanding new human tissues and organs to repair or replace diseased tissues and organs.

Dr. Atala is the Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the William Boyce Professor and Chair of the Department of Urology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Dr. Atala currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Tissue Engineering Society, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Bladder Foundation, and is the Scientific Founder and Chairman of the Tengion Scientific Advisory Board. He has also led or served several national professional and government committees, including the National Institutes of Health Bioengineering Consortium. Dr. Atala has received numerous awards and honors, including the U.S. Congress funded Christopher Columbus Foundation Award, bestowed on a living American who is currently working on a discovery that will significantly affect society, and the Scientific American, Research Leader Award, for his contributions to tissue and organ regeneration.

Dr. Atala heads a team of 80 physicians and researchers. Ten applications of technologies developed by Dr. Atala have been used clinically. Dr. Atala serves on the Editorial Board of 8 medical journals, and is an Editor-in-Chief or Senior Editor of 6, including the journal Rejuvenation Research. He is the editor of five books, has published more than 250 journal articles or book chapters, and has applied for or received over 100 U.S. and international patents.

Alonzo Cook, Ph.D.


Dr. Cook is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Brigham Young University. He has 15 years of industry experience in research and development of tissue engineering and medical devices, primarily in the fields of cardiovascular and orthopedic products. His current research focuses on strategies to decullularize and recellularize hearts for the treatment of cardiovascular failure.

Dr. Cook graduated from BYU with BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering, and later received his PhD from MIT, also in Chemical Engineering. Dr. Cook has held positions at Johnson & Johnson, Semprus BioSciences Corporation, and W.L. Gore & Associates. He is also an author on numerous peer-reviewed publications and an inventor on 4 issued patents.

Alejandro Nieponice, M.D.


Dr. Alejandro Nieponice is currently a Research Assistant Professor of the department of surgery at University of Pittsburgh and faculty of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. He is also a surgical associate and director of the Clinical Translation Unit at the Austral University Hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Dr. Nieponice joined the McGowan Institute in 2004 where he conducted his postdoctoral work with Dr. David A. Vorp in the vascular and biomechanics research lab. Prior to that, he completed his MD and the general surgery residency program (focus on esophageal surgery) at the University of Buenos Aires.

Part of his research has been focused on developing a tissue engineered vascular graft with stem cells in order to improve the outcome of current surgical therapies for vascular disease. For that, he received a Postdoctoral Fellowship Award from the American Heart Association. In collaboration with Dr. Stephen Badylak and Dr. Adolfo Badaloni, he is utilizing ECM derived scaffolds to regenerate esophageal tissue with the aim of decreasing the morbidity and mortality of current surgical procedures. Dr. Nieponice’s main goal is to foster clinical translation of novel tissue engineering approaches by bridging his surgical and research background. To accomplish that, he has promoted the creation of a Clinical Translation Unit within the operative room, providing full cell culture capabilities to facilitate clinical translation of cell-based technologies.

His work has been recognized with more than 40 international abstracts, more than 10 peer-reviewed publications and 2 book chapters. The technologies he has been working on with his colleagues led to 2 inventions that are under patenting process. He is currently a member of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS).

Jeffery D. Wood, D.V.M.


Dr. Wood is one of the most prolific users of tissue engineering technology in the field of veterinary medicine. He has used tissue-engineering-based treatments in more than 140 cases ranging from deep full thickness skin wounds to corneal ulcers to surgery on the small and large intestines. A leader in applying new veterinary procedures and practices, Dr. Wood’s mixed-animal practice has an emphasis on small animals, equine, and exotic medicine and surgery. Dr. Wood is the owner of Northside Veterinary Hospital in Hillsdale, Michigan. He was previously a Partner at Hillsdale Veterinary Hospital.

Dr. Wood has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Michigan State University Teaching Hospital conducting courses on zoo and wildlife medicine and surgery. Dr. Wood is a graduate of Michigan State University and received his D.V.M. from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Michigan Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Animal Hospital Association.