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Celeste Abjornson, PhD

About Dr. Abjornson


Dr. Celeste Abjornson is director of the Integrated Spine Research Program (ISRP), which was formed in 2009 with the strategic mission of developing and applying novel therapies and technologies to treat chronic degenerative conditions of the spine by performing basic and translational research that will provide better clinical interventions in the future. Through close collaborations between the scientists, clinician-scientists, and clinicians, high-impact research is being performed to find new perspectives to the field. It is complementary to the clinical goals of HSS Spine.

The spine laboratories focus on basic and translational research in three major areas: biologic agents and therapies for spinal surgery, non-fusion technologies, and bioactive coatings. The complementary nature of the research themes between pre-clinical and clinical programs strive to improve patient care by advancing ideas from concept to clinical practice.



Assistant Scientist, Hospital for Special Surgery
Director, Integrated Spine Research Program, Hospital for Special Surgery


International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery Best Paper Awards Finalist, 2016
Cervical Spine Research Society – European Section, Best Poster Award, 2013
International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine, Young Investigator's Award, 2013
Cervical Spine Research Society – Asia Pacific Section, Best Podium Award, 2013
Founders' Award, 2012
Whitecloud Basic Science Award Finalist, 2010
New Investigator Research Award Finalist, Orthopaedic Research Society, 2003
NIH Training grant award (T32), 2001
Marion Wilson Award, 1997
Patricia Harris Foundation Award, 1994



Publications by Dr. Abjornson

Selected Books/Chapters

Abjornson C, Lane JM. "Bone Graft Substitutes." in American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Monograft, 2005.

Kepler C, Lebl DR, Abjornson C, Cammisa FP. "Osteoporosis in the Lumbar Fusion Patient" in "eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion, 2E", 2012

Abjornson C, Yoon BJ, Lane JM. "The Use of Allografts as Bone Graft Substitutes" Bone Graft Substitutes and Bone Regenerative Engineering, ASTM Publication MONO6, 2nd Edition, 2013.

Kepler CK, Peterson MD, Lebl DR, Abjornson C, Cammisa FP Jr: "Chapter 12: Management of the Osteoporotic Spine" in eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF®) 2nd Edition. (Editors: J. Allan Goodrich, M.D. and Ildemaro J. Volcan, M.D.). Quality Medical Publishing, Inc., 2013.

Xavier F, Walker B, Callanan T, Grinberg S, Victor Yoon BJ, Abjornson C, Cammisa FP Jr.: "Chapter 25: Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion: A Review of the Current Clinical Outcomes of Different Supplement Fixation Techniques" in Lateral Access Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. Springer Publishers, New York, NY, 2017.

Selected Publications

Yoon BJ, Xavier F, Walker BR, Grinberg S, Cammisa FP, Abjornson C: "Optimizing Surface Characteristics for Cell Adhesion and Proliferation on Titanium Plasma Spray Coatings on Polyetheretherketone." Spine Journal. Oct; 16(10):1238-1243, 2016.

Safavi-Abbasi S, Abjornson C, Crawford N: "Feasibility and Biomechanics of Multilevel Arthroplasty and Combined Cervical Arthrodesis and Arthroplasty." Clin Spine Surg. 2016 Dec;29(10):E522-E531

Colon DA, Yoon BV, Russell TA, Cammisa FP, Abjornson C: "Assessment of Injection Behavior of Commercially Available Bone BSMs for Subchondroplasty Procedures" Knee. 22(6):597-603, 2015

Balaram AJ, Havey R, Vornovo L, Abjornson C, Patwarden A: "Biomechanical Evaluation of a Low Profile, anchored Cervical Interbody Spacer Device at the Index Level Adjacent to Plated Fusion" Spine Jun 1;39(13):E763-9, 2014

Kiely P, Brecevich A, Taher F, Nguyen J, Cammisa FP, Abjornson C: "Evaluation of a new formulation of demineralized bone matrix putty in a rabbit posterolateral spinal fusion model" Spine Journal. Sep 1; 14(9):2155-63, 2014.

DiAngelo DJ, Foley KT, Morrow BP, Wong P, Kiehm K, Sin A, Bertagnoli R, Abjornson C, Kelly BP: "In Vitro Testing of Lumbar Disc Arthroplasty Devices" The Open Spine Journal 6: 9-25, 2014.

Yue J, Zhang K, Bai HX, Du J, Cammisa F, Abjornson C, Mo F: "A Comparison of 1-Level Versus 2-Level Prodisc Arthroplasty Patients: A Prospective Study with Minimum of 5-Year Follow-Up." Spine 38(15): 1194-1198, 2013.

Lebl DR, Cammisa FP, Girardi FP, Wright T, Abjornson C: The Mechanical Performance of Cervical Total Disc Replacements In Vivo – Prospective Retrieval Analysis of ProDisc-C Devices. Spine Dec 15; 37(26):2151-60, 2012.

Lebl DR, Cammisa FP, Girardi FP, Wright T, Abjornson C: In vivo functional performance of failed ProDisc-L devices: retrieval analysis of lumbar total disc replacements. Spine 37(19): E1209-17, 2012.

Botolin S, Baldini T, Burger E, Puttlitz C, Abjornson C, Noshchenko A, Petrella A, Lindley E, Patel V: Facet Joint Biomechanics at the treated and adjacent levels after Total Disc Replacement. Spine 2011 36(1):E27-32.

Tsitsopoulos PP, Wojewnik B, Voronov LI, Havey RM, Renner SM, Zelenakova J, McIntosh B, Carandang G, Abjornson C, Patwardhan AG: "Effect of Prosthesis Endplate Lordosis Angles on L5-S1 kinematics after disc arthroplasty." Eur Spine J. Jun;21 Suppl 5:S585-91, 2012.

Lyons AS, Sherman BP, Puttlitz CM, Patel VV, Abjornson C, Turner AS, Seim HB III, Burger EL, Lindley EM: Failure of Resorbable Plates and Screws in an Ovine Model of Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion. Spine J. Sep;11(9):876-83, 2011.

Selected Presentations

Taher F, Lebl DR, Wright TM, Abjornson C: "Laser Surface Topography to Assess Wear and Deformation in Retrieved Total Disc Replacements" American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Chicago, IL March 19-23, 2013

Seethala R, Kiely PD, Taher F, Abjornson C, O'Leary PF: "No Neurological Deficits Using a Bilateral Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion Approach and a Novel Low Profile, Expandable Interbody Device" Mid-America Orthopaedic Association. Amelia Island, FL April 17-21, 2013.

Zhang K, Kiely PD, Taher F, Brecevich A, Cammisa FP, Abjornson C, Cunningham ME: "Experimental Lumbar Spine Fusion with Beta Tricalcium Phosphate Ceramic Composite Graft and Bone Marrow Aspirate" Mid-America Orthopaedic Association. Amelia Island, FL April 17-21, 2013.

Lebl DR, Taher F, Cammisa FP, Wright T, Abjornson C: "Topographic 3D Laser Surface Analysis of Wear and Deformation of Retrieved Total Disc Replacements" Awarded Best Podium Presentation Cervical Spine Research Society – Asia Pacific Section. Seoul, Korea April 2013.

Schroeder JE, Brecevich AT, Abjornson C, Cammisa FP: "Platelet Rich Fibrin Matrix in Posterolateral Lumbar Fusion" Scoliosis Research Society. Anchorage, Alaska September 2014.

Abjornson C, Callanan T, Yoon V, Cammisa FP: "Occult Infections in Patients Undergoing Revision Surgery" EuroSpine. Copenhagen, Denmark September 2015.

Lebl DR, Callanan TC, Cammisa FP, Abjornson C: "Can Occult Infection be Demonstrated in the Setting of Pain in Patients Who Have Undergone Spinal Surgery?" Best Poster: Spine American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting. Orlando, Florida March 2016

Abjornson C, Yoon VJ, Grinberg S, Cammisa FP: "Spinal Stenosis in the Absence of Spondylolisthesis: Can Interlaminar Stabilization at Single and Multi-levels Provide Sustainable Relief?" Best Paper Awards Finalist International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery (ISASS). Las Vegas, Nevada April 2016.

Yoon BJ, Shein D, Grinberg S, Cammisa F, Abjornson C: "Spinal Stenosis in the Absence of Spondylolisthesis: Can Interlaminar Stabilization at Single and Multi-levels Provide Sustainable Relief?" Lumbar Spine Research Society (LSRS) Annual Meeting. Chicago, Illinois April 2016.

Yoon BV, Cammisa FP, Abjornson C: "Polishing Less a Factor in Cell Adhesion Than Roughness of Titanium Plasma Spray Coatings on PEEK" SpineWeek. International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine(ISSLS). Singapore May 2016.

Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

One of the goals of HSS is to advance the science of orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, and related disciplines for the benefit of patients. Research staff at HSS may collaborate with outside companies for education, research and medical advances. HSS supports this collaboration in order to foster medical breakthroughs; however, HSS also believes that these collaborations must be disclosed.

As part of the disclosure process, this website lists Research staff collaborations with outside companies if the Research staff member received any payment during the prior year or expects to receive any payment in the next year. The disclosures are based on information provided by the Research staff and other sources and are updated regularly. Current ownership interests and leadership positions are also listed. Further information may be available on individual company websites.

Below are the healthcare industry relationships reported by Dr. Abjornson as of March 28, 2023.

  • Camber Spine Tech - Consultant; Advisory Board
  • Centinel Spine, Inc. - Consultant
  • Orthobond Corporation - Advisory Board; Ownership Interest
  • Surgalign - Advisory Board

By disclosing the collaborations of HSS Research staff with industry on this website, HSS and its Research staff make this information available to patients and the public, thus creating a transparent environment for those who are interested in this information. Further, the HSS Conflicts of Interest Policy does not permit payment of royalties on products developed by him/her that are used on patients at HSS.

Feel free to ask the Research staff member about their relationship(s).

Dr. Abjornson in the News