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Education & Research

Hoag Orthopedics is a 501c3 non-profit founded by Hoag Orthopedic Institute physicians. The non-profit exists to foster education, research and community outreach in orthopedic medicine.


We are actively involved in medical research and support multiple projects teamed with industry leaders and innovators to develop new orthopaedic treatment modalities based on scientific methodology. This will lead to improved patient outcomes and world-class orthopedic care.


In addition to research, education will be a focus to support fellowship training. Research and resident education is equally important to train the next generation of skilled surgeons. Financial support for this endeavor is achieved only through generous donations to the institute.


Executive Director - Carlos Prietto, M.D., MEd.

Dr. Carlos Prietto is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon with subspecialty training in sports medicine. His clinical practice is devoted to arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery of the shoulder and knee, sports medicine, and knee replacements.

A native Californian, Dr. Prietto completed both his Bachelor of Arts and Master’s Degree in Education at Gonzaga University. He taught high school science and coached basketball for a short period before going on to medical school and graduating from the University of California, Irvine with Alpha Omega Alpha honors. His internship was performed at Los Angeles - USC Medical Center and an orthopaedic residency at the University of California, Irvine. A sports medicine fellowship at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Inglewood, CA followed thereafter.

Early in his orthopaedic career, Dr. Prietto established a Neuro-Muscular basic science laboratory on the medical school campus at the University of California, Irvine. He has published numerous scientific articles on both basic science and clinical levels, and lectured extensively on sports medicine topics. He teaches arthroscopic surgical procedures to other orthopaedic surgeons in a variety of settings both here and abroad.

Dr. Prietto has been Clinical Professor of Orthopaedics at the University of California, Irvine and member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, and the Western Orthopaedic Association. He is the Head Team Physician for the University of California, Irvine Athletic Program and team physician for Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, CA.

He has been honored by his peers in Orange Coast Magazine for three four as one of the “Top Docs” for his work as an orthopaedic surgeon in Orange County. He has also been recognized by the University of California, Irvine Medical School as a Distinguished Alumnus.

Dr. Prietto now serves as the Executive Director and Chairman of the Board for Hoag Orthopedics.

Medical Director - Vance Gardner, M.D.

Vance is an orthopaedic surgeon and spine surgeon. His undergraduate degree is from USC and MD from Washington University School of Medicine.

He was faculty at the University of California, Irvine for 10 years. For the past 17 years he has concentrated on research and education instead of clinical practice.

In addition to developing his own projects, he has also been medical director of a multihospital system research department and chief medical officer of a biotech company. His experience in the medical device and drug development industries provides much needed expertise in these fields. Vance is married with 4 adult children and lives in Irvine. He enjoys hiking, boating and relaxing with his family.

Senior Programs Manager - Vanessa Glotzbach, B.A., C-TAGME

Vanessa began working for Hoag Orthopedics in May 2016 as the Education Coordinator. She has a background in genomic research, and non-profit education coordinating. At Hoag Orthopedics, Vanessa oversees three surgical fellowship programs, coordinates visiting residents, and the monthly Grand Rounds sessions. In her time here, she has grown our educational event offerings to include a fellow’s course, an annual healthcare economics course, and our annual Orthopedic Fellowship Research Day.

She has also expanded community outreach at Hoag Orthopedics by producing the biannual event, “Back to Play”, which exposes high school students to a variety of healthcare careers through a play. Additionally, Vanessa worked to partner Hoag Orthopedics with the University of California, School of Social Ecology Field Study Program. She coordinates the internships of our Field Study and Advanced Field Study students, keeps them involved in our day-to-day operations, and encourages them to take on their own projects. Vanessa also manages Hoag Orthopedics volunteer program from recruitment to onboarding, and beyond. She produces the Hoag Orthopedics quarterly newsletter, manages the webpage content, and coordinates fellowship grant writings and fundraising.

Vanessa has taken on the role of Program Director for Hoag Orthopedics Health Policy & Management Fellowship. In this role she has executed the implementation of the program from fundraising and curriculum development, to candidate recruitment.

Vanessa received a B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior from the University of California, Irvine in 2015. She has a passion for outdoor adventures, backpacking, mountain biking, SCUBA diving, traveling, and fire dancing.


Research Manager - Edward (Teddy) James Quilligan, B.S.

Teddy began working for Hoag Orthopedics in late 2016 as a research coordinator. Teddy has always had enthusiasm for the study of orthopedics and medical devices in general. He received his degree in Biomedical Research from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He has participated in several medical device engineering projects and has always had a passion for research. His experience includes collaborating on start up products for endocrinology, orthopedic surgeons, and vascular surgeons.

Since joining Hoag Orthopedics, Teddy has helped to facilitate the ongoing of several projects. His focus is on spine surgery studies. He has helped in various studies that will progress orthopedic patient outcomes such as preserving spine alignment goals for post spine surgery patients.

Outside of Hoag Orthopedics, Teddy enjoys going to live concerts, surfing, camping and recording music.

Clinical Research Coordinator - Tiffany Hsieh, M.S.

Tiffany graduated from New York University with a B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics. She then received her master’s in Biomedical Sciences from California University of Science and Medicine in 2021.

She was first introduced to clinical research at NYU while working on a childhood obesity prevention study. At CUSM, she developed her research skills during her capstone project that observed the racial disparities in cardiovascular disease as a comorbidity in COVID-positive patients. After graduation, Tiffany worked as a research coordinator in several dermatological clinical trials, where she saw the direct impact that the investigational drugs had on the overall health of her patients. Interested in various fields of medicine, Tiffany is excited to grow in her career at Hoag Orthopedics and conduct research that continue to improve patient outcomes and advance healthcare.
In her free time, she enjoys traveling, cooking healthy recipes, volunteering at food banks and soup kitchens, and spending time with her family.

Clinical Research Coordinator - Emily Van Gilder, B.S., B.A.

Emily joined the Hoag Orthopedics education team as a quarterly field study intern from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) School of Social Ecology in January 2019, where she later went on to become an Education Coordinator. In this role, Emily developed her passion to pursue a career as a physician assistant (PA) through interactions with the diverse healthcare team and experience shadowing in the hospital. In August 2020, Emily transitioned into her current role as a Clinical Research Assistant, where she is facilitating several orthopedic research projects and clinical trials. During her gap year following her undergraduate studies at UCI, Emily will continue to grow in her career at Hoag Orthopedics to seek a hands-on role in patient care as it relates to clinical research, exposing her to new, enriching opportunities in the field of healthcare. In her free time, Emily enjoys weightlifting and outdoor activities such as camping and hiking.

Clinical Research Coordinator - Poojitha Madaka, B.S.

Poojitha graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in June 2021 with a B.S in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology. Poojitha has always been interested in healthcare and directed her focus towards research after graduating. After spending some time conducting clinical trials in a primarily patient-facing setting she realized that she wanted to be more involved in the entire clinical research process. Research allows Poojitha to provide a meaningful impact into people’s lives while also giving her the ability to constantly learn new things. She is excited to further her research career at Hoag and eager to learn more about Orthopedics. In her free time she enjoys hiking, spending time with her dog, and hanging out with her friends.

Clinical Research Assistant - Evan Simpson, B.S.

Evan joined Hoag Orthopedics in June 2022 as a Clinical Research Assistant. He graduated from Fordham University in 2022 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and is assisting orthopedic research during his gap year while applying to medical school. Having previously shadowed in the field of orthopedics, Evan looks forward to furthering his exposure to varying aspects of healthcare. Additionally, he expects to promote the progress of research within the field and is enthusiastic to improve patient care through new solutions. He hopes that at Hoag Orthopedics he can make a difference in his local community. In his free time, Evan enjoys spending time at the beach surfing, hiking, and cooking.

Clinical Research Coordinator - Kalyn Smith, B.A.

Kalyn received her B.A. in Human Development with an emphasis in the Biological Perspective, and a certificate in Gerontology from California State University, Long Beach in May 2019. While at CSULB, she completed an internship at a rehabilitation center and volunteered as a research assistant. Following graduation, Kalyn worked directly with the geriatric population in a dementia unit and fell in love with working with patients. Kalyn is very excited to combine her passions for research and impacting patients’ lives as a Clinical Research Coordinator. In her free time, she loves to go dancing, watch stand-up comedy shows, try out new restaurants, and spend time in nature.


Education Coordinator - Katie Ngo, B.A.

Katie joined Hoag Orthopedics in July 2020 as an Education Coordinator under the stewardship of Vanessa Glotzbach, Program Manager. Katie earned her B.A. in Public Health from the University of California, Merced in 2019. She has had numerous experiences working in community education and outreach, working with the Long Beach Unified School District in her previous position. Katie is passionate about making a difference in the community, building personable relationships wherever she goes, and educating students in her community to lead them to the right path in their career development. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors at the beach surfing, hanging out with friends, spending time with family and reading.