Community Medical School

Speaker Bios

Office of Advancement

Community Medical School

Speaker Biographies

David Buchner, MD MPH

Title:  Obesity:  The Public Health Approach to Prevention
This talk will review evidence-based, community level approaches to prevention of obesity, with an emphasis on promotion of physical activity.

David Buchner, MD, MPH, is currently Shahid & Ann Carlson Khan Professor in Applied Health Sciences, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  From 1999-2008, Dr. Buchner directed the Physical Activity and Health Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  He chaired the writing group for the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

Callie Els, PhD

Title: "The Science of Obesity"

Obesity is a complex disease which can have many causes. Currently there is a strong belief that certain forms of obesity can be associated with an inflammatory response in fat cells. The talk will discuss this and also the roles played by several hormones in the development of obesity.

Willem (Callie) Els, Ph.D., received his first degrees from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. He studied towards his doctoral degree at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School of the University of London. He carried out post-doctoral research in the USA (UIUC) before returning to South Africa to take up the position of Chairman in Physiology at the University of the North. Shortly thereafter he accepted a position in the School of Medicine at the University of Cape Town where he later received a chair in Cell Biology and Physiology. Dr. Els has special interest in the physiology of sodium channels in the kidney and during his career he was involved in collaborative research with scientists in Europe and the U.S.A.
Dr. Els is currently an Assistant professor in Physiology in the College of Medicine and in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Illinois. He is also the course director of the Medical Physiology curriculum.

Bharat Gopal, MD

Bharat Gopal MD is a practicing Family Physician at Carle Foundation Hospital and Carle Physicians Group. Dr. Gopal is a firm believer in the power of education in improving health care. As director of Carle's Family Medicine Residency, Dr. Gopal is committed to advancing medicine through education. He offers continued support to all educational programs at Carle, including the Geriatric Fellowship and Surgery Residency, and is chair of the Carle Continuing Medical Education Committee. Dr. Gopal advises and teaches medical and pre-med students at the University of Illinois, contributes to scholarly activity and invests in his own education to benefit the physicians of tomorrow.

Janet Liechty, PhD

Title: Research updates on family factors associated with children's weight-related health

Learn the latest research on what families can do to help - or hinder - children's development of healthy habits, healthy weight, and healthy body self-concept.

Dr. Janet Liechty is a faculty member in the School of Social Work and the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois. Her research examines family and individual risk and protective factors for healthy weight, body image, weight management, and health-related self-concept among children and adolescents, including teasing in the family. Dr. Liechty is Co-Investigator on the Strong Kids Child Obesity Prevention Study, and  Co-Investigator on the Illinois Trans-disciplinary Obesity Prevention Program (I-TOPP) recently funded by the USDA.

William Marshall, MD

Title: Overview of Obesity in the United States

This talk will include discussion of prevalence of obesity in the US and its changing demographics. Additionally the different types of obesity will be addressed, along with some related disorders such as metabolic syndrome.

William Marshall, MD, is currently the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of medicine. Prior to taking this position in 2010, he served as the Associate Chief of Staff for Education and Research at Danville Veterans Affairs Hospital from 1993 to 2011. Dr. Marshall worked as an endocrinologist at Christie Clinic from 1977 to 1993.

Kingsley Onyemere, MD

Title: Obesity: Approach to Medical and Surgical Therapies

This discussion will review briefly the health risks and adverse outcomes associated with obesity.  The medical and surgical options available for management of obesity, as well as indications for these will be discussed in greater detail.

Kingsley Oneymere, MD, MPH, is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Medicine. He also serves as the head of the Department of Endocrinology at Carle Clinic/Foundation Hospital. His research interests include epidemiology and complications of diabetes and obesity.

Kristen Vogt, MD

Title: “The Heath Impact of Pediatric Obesity.” 

This talk will focus on the effects that obesity has on the body of a young patient and the long term consequences.


Kristen Vogt, MD, graduated from the University of Illinois and earned her medical degree at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, MO.  Dr Vogt served as a pediatrician and lead medical provider at the White House Clinic, Richmond, KY prior to joining Carle Physician Group in 2009.  Dr Vogt has a special interest in pediatric obesity.

Nathan Walker, MD

Dr. Michele Mariscalco, MD


Formerly Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita, Dr. Mariscalco received her MD at the University of Cincinnati, and completed a pediatrics residency and pediatric critical care fellowship at the Baylor College of Medicine Affiliated Programs in Houston. Following her training, Dr. Mariscalco rose through the academic rankings from assistant to tenured associate professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. She was also Program Director of Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship Training Program and the Director of Fellowship Research at Baylor College of Medicine. Additionally, for 10 years, she was the Program Director of one of the few NIH-funded T32 Research Training Programs in Pediatric Critical Care in the United States.

Dr. Mariscalco’s research focus has been on the developmental biology of inflammation. She has published more than 70 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has served on the editorial board of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine since 2005, with an appointment as Senior Editor in 2013. Dr. Mariscalso is a member of the National Advisory Committee Pediatric Critical Care Scientist Development Program and a member of the External Advisory Committee of the Collaborative Pediatric Critical Care Research Network.

In 2011, Dr. Mariscalco received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the National Alumni Association, University of Dayton in Ohio. In 2010, she received the Barry A. Shapiro Memorial Award for Excellence in Critical Care Management from the Society of Critical Care Medicine. In 2009, she received the Award of Excellence in Teaching in Research from the Baylor Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. Mariscalco succeeds Interim Regional Dean, Uretz Oliphant, MD, who led the College of Medicine in Urbana for three years.

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