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Poggi Pediatric Orthopaedics Research Fellowship

Poggi fellows group photo

I didn't even think twice about accepting the offer. Having the ability to collaborate with so many remarkably gifted surgeons and researchers on a daily basis has been truly incredible and I feel lucky to be able to take part in this experience.

- Caleb Gottlich, 2018-2019 Poggi Fellow

The Johns Hopkins Poggi Pediatric Orthopaedic Research Scholar Award is a year-long fellowship program for extraordinary medical students. Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge clinical research and learn the skills necessary to produce sound, high-quality papers. Poggi fellows are a crucial part of the pediatric orthopaedic surgery team and gain clinical experience both in and out of the operating room.

Details, Eligibility and Application

  • Program duration: one year
  • Applicants should be completing their third year of medical school (in rare circumstances, uniquely qualified students finishing their second year of medical school may be considered).
  • Applicants must be in good academic standing and have an interest in pursuing a career in orthopaedic surgery.
  • The recipient of this award will receive a $30,000 stipend to cover living expenses for the year, as well as travel expenses for national presentations.
  • Eligible students can apply by filling out the application form and submitting the following supplemental documents to [email protected]: one letter of recommendation, an unofficial medical school transcript, an updated curriculum vitae, and a PDF of their official USMLE Step 1 score report.
  • Application period: October 1 - December 31, 2022 (11:59 PM EST).
  • For more information: view the fellowship brochure.

Program Components


The Poggi Fellow will be involved in a variety of research projects designed to answer questions and solve problems in the areas of pediatric orthopaedic trauma, sports medicine, spine, hip and hand disorders, patient safety and healthcare quality and value, as well as medical economics. Completed projects by Poggi Fellows will be submitted for publication in the best orthopaedic journals and presentations at national and international conferences.

Clinical Experience

Poggi Fellows participate actively in the outpatient clinical program, including weekly outpatient clinics. Poggi Fellows see patients alongside the pediatric orthopaedic faculty, developing mastery of pediatric physical exam of fractures, shoulders, knees, spines and hips, image interpretation and decision-making. By the end of the year, Poggi Fellows are able to function independently in the clinic.


All attending physicians in our program are involved in research and available as mentors. Fellows meet with Dr. Sponseller and pediatric faculty several times a week to ensure satisfactory supervision and mentorship.

Meet our Poggi Pediatric Orthopaedic Fellows

  • portrait of Gregory BenesMedical School: Louisiana State University School of Medicine – New Orleans
    Undergraduate school and degree: Tulane University; B.S. in Neuroscience
    Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas

    “I was drawn to pursue the Poggi fellowship for a year immersed in the field of orthopedics while learning from the world-renown leaders in orthopedics at Johns Hopkins. During the interview process, I was impressed by the experience of prior Poggis, and I am honored to join this team. By being fully integrated into the pediatric orthopedics team, the Poggi fellowship offers a unique opportunity to enhance one’s skills as a clinician and researcher with the perfect combination of academic and clinical experience. Through close mentorship, the fellowship positions one to make impactful contributions to orthopedic patient care. Although I still have an action-packed year ahead of me, I can already confidently say that this opportunity will have a profound impact on my future career as an orthopedic surgeon. I am extremely grateful to Dr. Sponseller and the rest of the team for this opportunity.

    Aside from medicine, I enjoy all things outdoors, especially running, fishing, kayaking, and golfing. If I hadn’t chosen to pursue a career in medicine, I would’ve continued to pursue my prior endeavor as a lawn care business owner, which I founded 11 years ago.”

  • portrait of Daniel BadinMedical School: American University of Beirut Medical Center
    Undergraduate school and degree: American University of Beirut; B.S. in biology
    Hometown: Beirut, Lebanon; Damascus, Syria

    “My interest in orthopaedic research drew me to the department of pediatric orthopaedics at Johns Hopkins where I was delighted to take part in the Poggi Fellowship, which offers an unparalleled combined clinical and research experience. With its deep focus on direct mentorship, the Poggi Fellowship allows me to learn from and work closely with brilliant teachers, role models and leading figures in orthopaedic surgery. I am deeply grateful for the chance to work with the amazing faculty, residents, and other research fellows here at Johns Hopkins.

    Outside medicine, I enjoy cooking and playing boardgames. I was also part of my university’s chess and tennis teams and have competed in both. Otherwise, l have been truly enjoying exploring the rich city of Baltimore!”

  • portrait of Fredrick MunMedical School: Penn State College of Medicine
    Undergraduate school and degree: Carnegie Mellon University; B.S. in Biology, B.A. in History
    Hometown: Iowa City, Iowa; Seoul, South Korea

    “I decided to participate in the Poggi Fellowship because of the opportunity to learn from leaders in orthopaedic education and research. The high volume of patients coming through Johns Hopkins and its strong research infrastructure allow its Poggi fellows to work on numerous research projects that can benefit orthopaedic outcomes and patient care. Through the fellowship, I hope to learn how to develop more nuanced and impactful research studies. I am truly grateful to Dr. Sponseller and his team for this amazing opportunity!

    Outside the hospital, I enjoy baking, hiking and Pittsburgh sports. If I didn’t choose medicine, I would’ve become a chef at a Korean restaurant or a teacher.”

  • portrait of Krishna Vangipuram Suresh Residency: Johns Hopkins Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
    Medical School: Saint Louis University School of Medicine
    Undergraduate school and degree: Saint Louis University; B.S. in Biology
    Hometown: Cupertino, California

    “A combination of extensive clinical exposure and rigorous research involvement is needed for aspiring surgeons to the gain the skills necessary to thrive in orthopaedics. I accepted the position of the POGGI fellow for this exact reason: the opportunity to learn from top orthopaedic experts both in the operating room and out. The POGGI fellowship offers me the mentorship and resources needed to meaningfully participate in my academic interests, which include spine and pediatrics, health care equity, medical economics, and medical education.

    Outside the hospital, I enjoy working on cars and reading about consumer technology. If I didn’t choose to pursue Orthopaedics, my alternative career path would most likely be a car mechanic, technology blogger, or teacher. Whenever I have time, I like to listen to the latest EDM hits, fix old electronics, and explore new hiking trails.”
  • portrait of Ijezie IkwuezunmaResidency: UC Davis Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
    Medical School: University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine
    Undergraduate School and Degree: Washington and Lee University; B.S. in Biology, B.A. in Sociology
    Hometown: Houston, Texas

    "With the opportunity to explore the frontier of research and serve on the frontlines of clinic, I felt that this fellowship was uniquely equipped to help me lay the foundation for a prolific career in orthopedics. For me, the value of this experience stems from our complete integration into the team, as we study and work with the most kind and brilliant experts in the field. I am eternally grateful for all the mentorship, training, and time that Dr. Sponseller and his colleagues have invested in me.

    Outside the hospital, I spend my time at the gym, in the kitchen, and with my daughter, Zara. I also particularly enjoy traveling to new destination and working with underserved and underrepresented youth and focus a lot of my efforts towards uplifting and empowering them however I can through initiatives. In fact, I like to think that if I did not pursue medicine, I would have been a college counselor, a local community organizer or perhaps a world chef."

  • Majd Marrache

    Residency: Johns Hopkins Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
    Medical school: American University of Beirut Medical Center
    Undergraduate school and degree: American University of Beirut; B.S. in biology
    Hometown: Beirut, Lebanon

    "I believe research is one of the most powerful tools in the hands of a surgeon. My interest in academic medicine drew me to pediatric orthopaedics at Johns Hopkins, and I was honored to have received the Poggi Fellowship. This opportunity allows me to work with leaders in the field and contribute to the orthopedic literature in a meaningful and impactful way. It also provides me with a network of amazing mentors and role models, including the faculty, residents, and prior Poggi fellows. 

    Aside from research, I love watching and playing sports including rugby, basketball and tennis. I also enjoy traveling and outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking."

  • Niyathi Prasad

    Residency: Johns Hopkins Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
    Medical school: Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
    Undergraduate school and degree: Emory University; B.S. in biology
    Hometown: Augusta, Georgia

    "I was delighted to accept the position of Poggi Fellow and learn from some of the most respected orthopaedic surgeons in the country! This is an amazing opportunity to explore my interests in orthopaedics, particularly the subspecialties of pediatrics and sports, with the added ability to help advance the field overall through research! Outside of medical school, I enjoy dancing, kayaking, finding new shows and movies to watch and traveling whenever I get the chance!"

  • Graham Beutler

    Residency: Indiana University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
    Medical school: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
    Undergraduate school and degree: Tufts University; B.S. in biomedical engineering
    Hometown: Westport, Connecticut

    "When I visited for the interview day, I was most struck by the faculty and residents' clear focus on mentoring. The Poggi Fellowship goes beyond simply offering the opportunity and resources to complete high-quality research. I am so excited and grateful to be spending the year with the great people here at Johns Hopkins. It is truly one of the best personal and professional decisions that I have ever made.

    Outside of the medical world, I enjoy running, playing board games and baking. While at Tufts University, I competed in sprint events on the track and field team but have since transitioned to running longer distances in my old age. My board game collection includes 40 games and counting. I try to bake at least once per week — I like to think that my alternate career path would be a small-town baker."

  • Caleb Gottlich

    Residency: Texas Tech Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
    Medical school: Texas A&M University College of Medicine 
    Undergraduate school and degree: Texas A&M University; B.S. in nutritional science and biomedical science and M.S. in biomedical science
    Hometown: Dallas, Texas

    "I have known since coming into medical school that I was interested in pursuing academic medicine, and with this desire I realized taking a year off to do research was a wise decision. After coming to interview, I was ecstatic at the prospect of being invited to spend the year here. I really enjoyed the people that I met when I interviewed, the breadth of opportunity was seemingly endless, and the collaborative and inclusive learning environment seemed very inviting. I didn't even think twice about accepting the offer. Having the ability to collaborate with so many remarkably gifted surgeons and researchers on a daily basis has been truly incredible and I feel lucky to be able to take part in this experience."

  • Francisco Eguia

    Residency: Mayo Clinic Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
    Medical school: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    Undergraduate school and degree: Rice University; B.A. in chemistry and psychology
    Hometown: Harlingen, Texas

    "I chose to stay at Johns Hopkins for the Poggi fellowship for the same reasons I chose to come here for the medical school. The institution has the resources to explore a breadth of interests rivaled only by the depth in which faculty delve into those interests. As a fellow here, I am in a position to learn from the greatest minds in medicine and take what I learn to model my practice in the future.

    Outside of the hospital and school, I enjoy cooking, baking, sports (watching and playing) and running. I intend on trying many new recipes throughout the year and training for a new personal record for my next marathon." 

  • Derek Nhan

    Residency: University of Washington Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
    Medical school: University of Colorado School of Medicine
    Undergraduate school and degree: University of Washington; B.S. in neurobiology and biochemistry
    Hometown: Seattle, Washington

    As a Poggi Fellow, Derek is ecstatic to advance his training in both the clinical and research realms under mentorship from respected leaders in pediatric orthopaedics at Johns Hopkins. Additionally, he is interested in the subspecialties of spine, sports and joints. He enjoys volunteering at MedFest with the Special Olympics of Colorado, and — as a committee member of the Education/Teaching Interest Group — mentoring students to pursue careers in STEM. His other interests include supporting Washington football, playing basketball and trying out new restaurants.

  • Walter Klyce

    Residency: Case Western Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
    Medical school: The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
    Undergraduate school and degree: Harvard College; B.A. in history and literature
    Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee

    Walter is a fourth-year medical student pursuing a career in orthopaedic surgery. In addition to pediatric orthopaedics, his academic interests include hand, spine, and trauma. Before medical school, Walter was a high school teacher and volunteer EMT. He is an avid outdoorsman, musician, and crossword puzzler. As a performer, he has appeared on two out of three stages at Carnegie Hall and on every continent but Antarctica.

  • Brian Sullivan

    Residency: Johns Hopkins Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
    Medical school: Medical College of Georgia (MCG)
    Undergraduate school and degree: University of Georgia Honors Program; B.S. in biology
    Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

    Brian’s career interests in pediatric orthopaedic surgery include trauma, tumor and spine. Additionally, Brian has an interest in medical ethics, and he has served on the MCG Hospital Ethics Committee during his medical training. Brian is excited to take a year out of his medical school training to explore and advance the field of pediatric orthopaedic surgery and build strong mentor relationships with some of the most renowned orthopaedic surgeons at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

  • Adam Margalit

    Residency: Johns Hopkins Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
    Medical school: State University of New York Downstate Medical Center
    Undergraduate school and degree: City University of New York; B.S. in biomedical sciences

    Adam was thrilled to accept the opportunity to work under the guidance of Paul D. Sponseller, M.D. at Johns Hopkins. Adam is interested in both pediatrics and spine surgery. In addition to orthopaedics, he enjoys practicing martial arts. He holds numerous world titles in the North American Sport Karate Association and has attained a position on the U.S. Wushu Martial Arts Team in 2007.

About the Poggi Family

Poggi Family

The family of Francis "Biff" X. Poggi and Amy Poggi endowed the Poggi Pediatric Orthopaedic Research Scholar Award as an extension of their interest in teaching and mentorship. It was given in gratitude for care provided at Johns Hopkins. Baltimore native Biff Poggi, an investment banker and football coach, spent more than 15 years leading the Gilman School’s football team to national prominence. He has transitioned to assistant head coach of the University of Michigan Wolverines. Biff and Amy, both graduates of Duke University, have three sons, Samuel, James and Henry, and two daughters, Mellie and Mary.

Fellowship Faculty


Please contact [email protected] with any questions.

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