The day after his first call to Barbara Boyan, Kevin Gemas was on a plane to meet her in Atlanta.

Gemas’ company, Mequon-based Titan Spine, was selling titanium medical devices used in back surgery to shore up injured or deteriorating vertebrae.

The devices seemed to work better than the plastic materials that were commonly used for spinal fusions at the time, but Gemas and his Titan Spine co-founder, Neenah spine surgeon Peter Ullrich Jr., didn’t know why.

Boyan did. A cell biologist at Emory University, she had spent decades studying how bones heal. Read the full story here.