Our Research Team

Dr. Abdel has assembled a lab team with far-ranging expertise, all committed to deepening scientific knowledge about arthrofibrosis and why it occurs in some patients after total knee arthroplasty.

Learn more about Dr. Abdel and members of his research team.

Matthew P. Abdel, M.D.

Dr. Abdel is the Andrew A. and Mary S. Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and a consultant in hip and knee reconstruction at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Abdel has received numerous awards for his work, including the Lawrence D. Dorr Surgical Techniques & Technologies Award from the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (2020, 2019 and 2018); the Otto Aufranc Award from The Hip Society (2017); and the Mark B. Coventry Award from The Knee Society (2019 and 2014). He also received a research grant from the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (2017). Dr. Abdel is a member of the member-only and prestigious The Hip Society and The Knee Society, and he currently serves on the board of directors of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Amel Dudakovic, Ph.D.

Dr. Dudakovic, originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, is an assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and an assistant professor of orthopedics at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. He received a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota in 2005, a doctorate in pharmacology from the University of Iowa in 2010, and extensive postdoctoral training at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Dudakovic's studies are focused on advancing pharmacologic strategies to treat musculoskeletal disorders. Specifically, his studies are aimed at identifying epigenetic events that can be targeted to prevent and treat bone, cartilage and fibrotic conditions. Outside of work, Dr. Dudakovic enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, participating and volunteering in the local community, and savoring a good cup of coffee.

Banu Bayram, Ph.D.

Dr. Bayram, a postdoctoral research fellow, is originally from Turkey. She received a bachelor of science degree in biology from Gazi University in Ankara in 2001, and a master's in 2004 and doctorate degree in 2007, both in medical biology from Eskisehir Osmangazi University in Turkey. She worked as an assistant professor in the Biology Department of Mus Alparslan University in Turkey from 2009-2012 and as an associate professor in medical biology in the Department of Mugla at Sitki Kocman University in Turkey from 2012-2018. Dr. Bayram has worked as a research fellow in Dr. Abdel's lab since 2018. Her studies are focused on identifying genetic markers that can be targeted to diagnose, prevent and treat arthrofibrosis. In her free time, Dr. Bayram enjoys being with her two boys and two cats and hanging out with friends.

Roman Thaler, Ph.D.

Dr. Thaler, originally from Italy, is a research associate who joined Mayo Clinic in 2014. He is also an instructor in orthopedics at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Rochester, Minnesota. He received a master's degree in 2008 and a doctorate in 2011 from the University of Vienna in Austria. His studies investigated the epigenetic mechanisms controlling bone development and the interplay of the collagenous extracellular matrix in these processes. Dr. Thaler has received several honors and awards for his research, including the ASBMR John Haddad Young Investigator Award in 2019, the Mayo Clinic Patrick J. Kelly Research Award in 2017, the ASBMR Harold M. Frost Young Investigator Award in 2016, the Jakob Erdheim Research prize of the Austrian Society for Bone and Mineral Research in 2013 and others. He was also awarded grants from the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Mayo Clinic in 2016 and 2014. Integrating his rich research experience, Dr. Thaler's studies now focus on the elucidation of the cellular, molecular and epigenetic causes controlling arthrofibrosis development.

Harold (Reed) I Salmons IV, M.D.

Dr. Salmons is an orthopedic surgery resident spending a year in Dr. Abdel's lab as a member of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery's master's degree program in orthopedic research. Dr. Salmons is leading a thesis project investigating a new pharmaceutical intervention in rabbit models of arthrofibrosis. Dr. Salmons, who hails from Wilmington, Delaware, earned a B.S. in biological sciences at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he also played varsity lacrosse and studied acute myeloid leukemia. He went on to spend two years at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia studying the molecular epigenetics of a rare genetic disorder. He then hopped across the Schuylkill River to earn his medical doctorate at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, where he developed his passion for orthopedic surgery. Dr. Salmons is a lifelong fan of Philadelphia professional sports. When not rooting for a rare Sixers or Eagles playoff run, Dr. Salmons enjoys fly-fishing, hunting, working out, skiing and spending time with his wife, Rae, and their blue heeler dog, Willow.

Afton K. Limberg, B.S.

Afton, a research assistant, is originally from Rochester, Minnesota, but attended Montana State University to obtain her bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. In the lab, she assists with animal management and study data collection and processing. Afton also handles most of the histology for both the animal and human specimens. When not in the lab, she enjoys camping, downhill skiing and running with her dog.

Anne Roesler, B.S.

Anne is a supervisor-senior research technologist. Originally from Caledonia, Minnesota, Anne received a bachelor of science degree in biology-allied health from Winona State University in Minnesota in 2016, and is now obtaining her master of science degree from Winona State in biology and laboratory management. Anne's experience includes research in both the academic and industry setting. She joined Dr. Abdel's lab in December 2020. Outside of work, Anne enjoys hiking, camping, weightlifting and spending time in the outdoors.

Jacob W. Bettencourt, B.S.

Jacob, originally from Mukilteo, Washington, is a research assistant in the lab. He completed his bachelor's degree in cellular biology and neuroscience at Montana State University. In the lab, his primary responsibility is managing arthrofibrotic human tissue collection and processing. He also assists with the characterization of arthrofibrotic and nonarthrofibrotic fibroblastic cell lines and with maintaining mouse colonies. He hopes to continue his education as a physician assistant. Jacob has a passion for the outdoors, especially ice fishing in the winter and paddleboarding with his dog in the summer.