University of Illinois

Public Engagement

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

Uretz Oliphant, MD

Dr. Uretz J. Oliphant has served as Dean of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign since April 2011. In addition, he serves as Head of the Department of Surgery and is a Clinical Professor of Surgery and Medicine. His medical and research interests focus on Critical Care, laparoscopic surgery, bariatric surgery, trauma surgery and acute care surgery. He earned a BA from Boston University and his MD from the University of Minnesota. After completing his internship and residency in General Surgery at the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois Metropolitan Group Hospitals in Chicago, he joined the staff of Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, IL in 1992 and has served as Head of the Department of Surgery since 1994. He is certified by the American Board of General Surgery, and is certified as an ATLS course director and ATLS state faculty. Dr. Oliphant's teaching awards have been numerous and consistent and include the 2009 College of Medicine Special Recognition Award, 2009 Clinical Teaching Excellence Award, 2008 College of Medicine Innovation in Education Award, 2008 Physician of the Year at Carle Foundation Hospital, and five Golden Apple Teaching Awards. Dr. Oliphant is past President of the Illinois Surgical Society, past Head of the Division of Trauma Surgery and Department of General Surgery at Carle. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Abdominal Surgeons. Dr. Oliphant is currently Chair of the Council of Specialty Groups and is past Vice President of the International College of Surgeons.

Inclusive Illinois is about institutionalizing
a climate of excellence and inclusiveness at Illinois