Research Team

Timothy Hewett, Ph.D. is the director of the Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory and the director of Sports Medicine Research and has a primary appointment as a consultant and professor within the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, and joint appointments as a professor in physiology and biomedical engineering and in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic.

The diversity of appointments and Dr. Hewett's role as a principal investigator has allowed him to organize, execute and oversee large-scale investigations of in vivo, in vitro, and in silico kinetics and kinematics. These scientific investigations have been clinically translated into impactful advancements in the treatment, diagnosis and prevention of athletic knee injuries, with particular regard to the anterior cruciate ligament.

Dr. Hewett's previous experience and current position afford him the privilege to collaborate with many other professionals in fields such as biomedical engineering, rehabilitation, physiology, cell biology, orthopedics and other various allied medical professions. Dr. Hewett has more than 20 years of experience in biomechanics and sports-related research with over 300 peer-reviewed articles published.

Nathaniel A. (Nate) Bates, Ph.D. received his degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Cincinnati. He has more than eight years of experience conducting in vitro and in vivo testing and biomechanical modeling. His dissertation focused on investigating anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL) biomechanics during six degree-of-freedom, robotically-simulated athletic tasks.

Dr. Bates has published over 20 peer-reviewed articles in the area of biomechanics and sports medicine. Dr. Bates is currently the lab supervisor for the Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory at Mayo Clinic and has worked directly with Dr. Hewett for the past seven years. He was previously a postdoctoral researcher at the Sports Health and Performance Institute at The Ohio State University.

Wendy J. Hurd, P.T., Ph.D. received her physical therapy degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri and doctorate degree in biomechanics at the University of Delaware. She has more than 20 years of experience as a physical therapist in sports medicine, and is a sports-certified specialist (SCS). Her clinical specialization is in treatment of knee, shoulder and elbow injuries, and her research emphasis is focused on knee and upper extremity biomechanics.

Dr. Hurd's research has been funded by Major League Baseball and the Arthritis Foundation. Her work has been recognized with multiple awards from the Foundation for Physical Therapy. She received the Rose Award from the Orthopedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association for best publication in the field of orthopedic physical therapy. She is a two-time recipient of the Kelly Award (2009 and 2011) from the Department of Orthopedics, Mayo Clinic, for outstanding research. She is currently a research scientist with Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center ‒ Mayo Clinic Square in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Christopher V. Nagelli, M.S. completed his undergraduate degree in bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is currently pursuing his doctorate from The Ohio State University. His dissertation focuses on sensory dysfunction following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and its implication on knee joint function and health. Previously, Mr. Nagelli has conducted research in stroke, neurorehabilitation and tribocorrosive influences on orthopedic implants. His research interests include neuromuscular training, return-to-sport criteria, post-traumatic osteoarthritis and sensory dysfunction.

Nathan D. Schilaty, D.C., Ph.D. has dual doctorate degrees — a doctorate in neuroscience (Brigham Young University, 2014) and a doctorate of chiropractic degree (Parker University, 2007). He worked in biomechanics research with Dr. Hewett at The Ohio State University in the Sports Health and Performance Institute and at Mayo Clinic in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and the Division of Sports Medicine.

His projects include epidemiology of second ACL injury, cadaveric modeling of ACL injury, biofeedback for ACL prevention and rehabilitation, and neural mechanisms of ACL injury prevention and rehabilitation. His primary work in biomechanics emphasizes neuromechanics, which includes sensorimotor integration, proprioception, biofeedback and analysis of neural signaling.

Robby Sikka, M.D. (external collaborator) is an innovator in injury and performance analytics. He presently serves as an analytics consultant to three NBA teams, and serves as the sports scientist for the Minnesota Vikings. He is also an injury and analytics consultant to the National Basketball Player’s Association and has worked with numerous teams in the NCAA, NFL, NHL and MLB to assist with analytics, technology integration and research. Dr. Sikka has published over thirty peer-reviewed manuscripts, many on return to play and performance after injury, and his research has been presented at dozens of national and international sports analytics and sports medicine meetings.

Dr. Sikka attended the University of Pennsylvania for his undergraduate studies and the Keck School of Medicine of USC for medical school. After graduating with honors from both schools, he completed an anesthesiology residency at the University of Minnesota with a special interest in sports, physiology and technology.