ACell Founder

Scientific Discovery that Led to the Founding of ACell

Our core platform urinary bladder matrix (UBM) technology is based on the influential work of our founder, the late Dr. Alan Spievack. Dr. Spievack’s research on extracellular matrix (ECM) constructs comprised of the epithelial basement membrane of the mammalian urinary bladder led to the invention of our UBM technology platform and the founding of ACell in 1999.

Inspired by salamanders that can grow back limbs, Dr. Spievack began working in cell regeneration in the 1950s and through his research he discovered a special characteristic of the basement membrane: remove it and a salamander’s limb would not regenerate. The basement membrane – a thin sheet of fibers that underlies the epithelium tissue of a cell and exists in every living cell in our bodies – was somehow responsible for remodeling of tissue.

Our Founder

Alan R. Spievack, M.D.

Dr. Spievack was a surgeon and professor at Harvard from 1959 – 2000, when he retired. He was also a Teaching and Research Fellow at Harvard during that period. Dr. Spievack holds numerous patents relating to tissue engineering. In addition, he published extensively in numerous medical journals. Dr. Spievack earned an A.B. from Kenyon College, where he received the Maxwell E. Power Prize for Biology. He won a Fulbright Scholar award and received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Spievack was a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Boston Surgical Society and was a Fellow at the American College of Surgeons.