Hello, My Name Is . . . Matt Mandeville

Each Monday, the Daily Voice introduces you to a member of the UMass Medical School community—could be a new face, or maybe one that’s has been around for a while. We’ve asked our subjects, in their own words, to answer a few questions that might give you insight into their personalities. If you have a suggestion as to someone who might be profiled, let us know at ummscommunications@umassmed.edu.


Matt Mandeville is the manager of the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Facility, located in the Cell Biology Department, and has been at UMMS for seven years. The facility provides researchers with quality controlled hES/hIPS cells and advice concerning experimental design in the diverse field of stem cell biology.  Matt Mandeville

What brought you here to UMass Medical School? 

Unsure of what I would do after graduating, I attended a UMass Med job fair and was offered a technician position in the Stein/Lian/Van Wijnen lab.

What do you love most about the work that you do?

Working in an area of science that is less than 15years old makes my job very dynamic. Important discoveries are being made frequently, some of which can challenge what was accepted by the scientific community a few months before. It keeps things very interesting.

How would you explain your work to your spouse/child/a student?

Embryonic stem cells have the ability to become any type of cell in the body. To maintain this pluripotent state, the ES cells must be monitored and maintained every day. When the cells have reached their maximum capacity in a culture dish, they are split at specific ratios, providing them adequate space to continue dividing without differentiating.

Best kept secret about your department/lab/division?

The “secret” candy bucket (that someone apparently told Dr. Hendricks about)

What is the practical application of your work?

To gain a better understanding of cell renewal/differentiation and apply it to the treatment of disease and injury.

Which trait do you most admire in yourself?


What’s the question you’re most often asked about your work–and the answer?

“Does that mean you can grow me new body parts?” No, at least not yet.

If you were stranded on a desert island, name three things you would want.

Fishing rod, a hook, a still (for fresh water, of course)–my wife isn’t going to like those choices

If you could have dinner with a famous person, living or dead, who would that be?

Charles Darwin

What has surprised you most about UMass Medical School?

How exciting it is to find a good parking spot in the morning.

Who or what inspired you to enter your field?

My dad.

Please provide some details about your education: where you attended school, graduated, degrees of study, etc.?

I graduated in 2004 with a BA from the College of the Holy Cross. I spent the 2003 academic year at the University of Melbourne in Australia, focusing on environmental studies. I am currently pursuing a MS in biology and biotechnology.

What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?

Fly fishing, whitewater rafting, backpacking/camping, snowboarding/skiing, music

What do you consider the most interesting thing about yourself that most people might not know (and you would want to tell them).

I have been playing the saxophone since I was about 6 years old.

What book have you read, or what movie have you seen, most recently, or what kind of music do you most enjoy?

Book: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Movie: “Something the Lord Made”
If you have not read or seen these, do so immediately.

Who are your heroes?

My grandmother

What’s the most exciting thing happening in your field right now?

Progress is being made with induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology that will result in patient specific treatments for many illnesses using their own cells.

What would you tell someone who was considering applying to UMass Medical School (as a student or for a position)

Sign up for reserved parking ASAP.