Faculty & Staff
As a leader in a multi-disciplinary field, the Bioethics Institute brings together expertise from a variety of areas through its diverse faculty and staff.
Roberto Dell’Oro, PhD
Director, Bioethics Institute
Professor of Theological Studies
Dr. Roberto Dell'Oro is the Director of the Bioethics Institute with more than 15 years of experience as bioethics scholar and professor. He is especially interested in anthropological themes at the crossroad of theology and philosophy and has written three books: Health and Human Flourishing: Religion, Moral Anthropology, and Medicine (Washington: Georgetown University Press, 2006), Esperienza Morale e Persona (Rome: Gregorian University Press, 1996) and History of Bioethics: International Perspectives (San Francisco: International Scholars Publications, 1996), translated two books from German, and has had worked published in national and international journals, such as Theological Studies; Health Progress; Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy; The Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy; INTAMS Review; Rivista di Teologia Morale; and Vida y Etica. In addition, he serves on bioethics committees, including serving as Chair for the committee at Saint John’s Medical Center, Santa Monica, CA.
STAFF OF THE BIOETHICS INSTITUTE
Gianna McMillan, MA
University Hall 4517
Graduate Program Coordinator
Gianna McMillan helps implement the vision of the Director by administering curricular programs and managing communications for the Graduate Program. She is a first point of contact for prospective graduate students with questions about our programs and application process. Ms. McMillan is also the Administrative Coordinator for a planning grant awarded to the Bioethics Institute by the Unihealth Foundation.
Helena Olivieri, MA
University Hall 4514
Undergraduate Program Coordinator
Helena Olivieri assists the Director of the Institute in the development, administration, and supervision of Bioethics Institute events and the undergraduate minor program.
David Rogoff, MFA
University Hall 4510
Senior Administrative Coordinator
David Rogoff is senior administrative coordinator to both the Bioethics Institute and Yoga Studies program.
Jared Howes, BA
University Hall 4514
Jared is a full-time student in the bioethics MA program and assists the Bioethics Institute 20 hours per week.
Mia Loucks, BA
University Hall 4514
Craves Graduate Assistant
Mia is a full-time student in the bioethics MA program and assists the Bioethics Institute 20 hours per week. If you have any submissions for the BioethicsHub, please contact Mia.
FACULTY OF THE BIOETHICS INSTITUTE
Roberto Dell'Oro, PhD
University Hall 4515
Dr. Roberto Dell'Oro is the Director of the Bioethics Institute, providing the vision for its programs and guiding their implementation. Dr. Dell’Oro also teaches several of the courses in the bioethics curriculum.
Nicholas Brown, PhD
University Hall 4519
Assistant Visiting Professor
Dr. Nicholas Brown received a B.A. in Political Science from Northwestern College (IA) and a joint M.A. in International Peace Conflict Resolution and Theological Studies from American University and Wesley Theological Seminary respectively. In 2015 he received his doctorate in Christian Ethics from the Center of Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. His work and research in bioethics focuses on how philosophical and theological conceptions of justice inform political discourse on public health and the distribution of health care resources and the ethical implications of biometric technology. Dr. Brown is a full-time faculty of the Bioethics Institute and teaches several courses in the bioethics curriculum. Read More
Thomas V. Cunningham, PhD
Dr. Cunningham is the Director of Bioethics for Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center. He received his doctorate in History & Philosophy of Science and his masters in Bioethics from the University of Pittsburgh. His undergraduate work and masters in Biology were taken from the University of California at San Diego. His areas of expertise include philosophy of medicine and bioethical theory and practice. Dr. Cunningham's work has appeared in Journal of Medical Ethics, American Journal of Bioethics, Critical Care Medicine, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, and other venues.
Tiffany Cvrkel, PhD
Dr. Tiffany Cvrkel is a bioethicist, philosopher,and lecturer in UCLA’s Department of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. The primary focus of her work is distinguishing the impact and limitations of deliberation as it occurs in the contexts of emerging biomedical technologies, including the development of ways to increase the quality of the deliberative process for patient, clinician, scientist, and science consumer. In addition to being an award-winning teacher, she serves as a consultant to scientists and clinicians working with biomedical ethics. Dr. Cvrkel has taught "Foundations of Philosophical Ethics."
Theresa Drought, PhD, RN
Dr. Drought is the Director of Bioethics for Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center. She received her doctorate in Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing from the University of California San Francisco. Her publications and research address issues of professionalism and ethics in nursing and end-of-life decision-making. Dr. Drought is a co-author of Ethical Dilemmas in Nursing Practice and has also authored several book chapters involving issues on professionalism and ethics, and moral dilemmas in health care.
Jennifer Gumer, JD, MA
Jennifer Gumer is an attorney practicing in the litigation department of Gibson Dunn and Crutcher, Los Angeles. As a member of the firm's FDA, Healthcare and Life Sciences practices groups, she advises pharmaceutical and medical device companies on regulatory compliance as well as represents them in large scale litigations. Prior to joining Gibson Dunn, Jenny received her Juris Doctorate from New York University, School of Law. In 2017, she earned her Master’s in Bioethics from Columbia University. Her interests lie at the intersection of policy and ethics, specifically concerning neuroscientific and genetic developments.
Joseph Raho, PhD
University Hall 4519
Dr. Joseph Raho is a clinical ethicist at the UCLA Health System Ethics Center in Los Angeles, where he also trained for his fellowship in clinical ethics (2014 - 2016). Prior to coming to L.A., Dr. Raho received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Pisa, Italy, in May 2014, concentrating in moral philosophy and bioethics. From 2006 through 2009, he worked on the staff of the President's Council on Bioethics in Washington, D.C., under the guidance of physician-philosopher Edmund D. Pellegrino. Dr. Raho is currently teaching "Bioethics at the End of Life."
AFFILIATE FACULTY OF THE BIOETHICS INSTITUTE
Faculty's Connection to Bioethics
Paige Asawa, PhD, MFT, ATR-BC
Professor, Admissions Coordinator, & Director of the Helen B. Landgarten Art Therapy Clinic, LMU
Connection to Bioethics: Dr. Paige Asawa studies bioethics as it relates to human behavior and experience. Her work emphasizes the use of technology in working with families responding to traumatic life events and disasters.
Carla Bittel, PhD
Associate Professor of History, LMU
Connection to Bioethics: Dr. Carla Bittel is Associate Professor of History at LMU. She is a historian of medicine and science focusing on the nineteenth-century United States. She has written on women physicians, women's health, and the role of science in medicine. Her new research is on the politics of gender and phrenology in antebellum America. She is interested in the historical roots of contemporary bioethical issues, including access to health care, concepts of health and disease, notions of disability, women's health and reproductive technologies, human and animal subjects research, the neurosciences and brain imaging technologies.
Richard Boudreau, BS, MA, MBA, DDS, MD, JD, PhDDr. Boudreau is a maxillo-facial surgeon, attorney at law, forensic expert, and bioethicist who attended USC, Harvard, UCI, Univ. of Washington, Univ. of Hamburg, LMU, Pepperdine, and Oxford.
Connection to Bioethics: Bioethics provides the perfect vehicle for blending Dr. Richard Boudreau's passionate interests in medicine, law, theology, philosophy, education, and public policy. He enjoys analyzing challenging bioethical issues, authoring articles, and teaching this scholarly and profound clinical discipline. He suggests that, as mortal beings and despite our best efforts, we're all going to face end of life issues, whether our own, or our immediate family member's. Therefore, he believes that bioethics promotes contemplation on some of the most problematic ethical issues of our time.
Lisa Chaudhari, PhD
Director of Project Maycoba, College of Health and Human Services, Northern Arizona University
Instructor of Writing, LMU
Connection to Bioethics: Dr. Lisa Chaudhari is trained in biocultural anthropology with an interdisciplinary focus stemming from her earlier training in ecology and geography. She recently completed a certificate in Geographic Information Science (GIS) and her Ph.D. in the environmental and ecological anthropology program from the University of Georgia. Her research interests include health, migration, urban, multicultural and transnational studies, ethnoecology, GIS, biocultural and applied anthropology. She has conducted research projects with various communities in the United States, several countries in Africa, South America and the Caribbean. Some of her garden related projects include ethnobotanical research comparing elder knowledge and practices between two Gullah-Geechee island communities off the Southeast coast of the US, and a transnational ethnohealth project between Trinidadians and Tobagonians living in Atlanta, Georgia and their family and friends living back home.
Brietta Clark, BA, JD
Associate Dean for Faculty
Professor of Law, Loyola Law School
Connection to Bioethics: I teach a variety of health law courses, including bioethics, and I advise the Health Law & Bioethics Student Association at the Law School. I have a particular interest in the intersection of social justice, health care access and bioethical concerns. I have served as a member of the Los Angeles County Medical Association and Los Angeles County Bar Association Joint Committee on Bioethics, the Los Angeles County Bar Association Health Law Executive Committee, and on two hospital institutional research boards.
Kam Dahlquist, PhD
Associate Professor of Biology, LMU
Connection to Bioethics: Dr. Kam Dahlquist has had a long-standing interest in bioethics as it pertains to research ethics and biotechnology, especially concerns that have arisen due to genomics technologies. She has participated in two workshops on the ethical, legal, and social implications of the human genome project (ELSI) held by the Dartmouth Ethics Institute. She regularly teaches research ethics case studies in her courses such as, Molecular Biology of the Genome and Issues in Biotechnology.
Antonia Darder, PhD
Leavey Presidential Chair & Professor of Educational Leadership, LMU
Connection to Bioethics: Dr. Darder brings a wealth of transdisciplinary knowledge and experience in the fields of nursing, mental health, philosophy, cultural studies, policy studies, political economy, research methodologies, ethics, and social justice leadership to her work with the Bioethics Institute. One of her primary concerns is the manner in which a diverse democratic society contends with social and material inequalities and exclusions, when working toward a just practice of Bioethics, across diverse communities, professions, and disciplines of study. Dr. Darder also brings 30 years of experience as a university educator to support the Institute's curriculum and the intellectual formation of students in the program. A focus on theory/practice is key to her critical approach to bioethics, along with a political commitment to work in the interest of the most vulnerable populations.
Cheryl Grills, PhD
Professor of Psychology, LMU
Connection to Bioethics: As a psychologist with an emphasis in Community Psychology, Dr. Cheryl Grills is focused on adult and juvenile justice, child welfare, and traditional medicine in developing countries within the field of bioethics. She also researches substance abuse prevention and treatment.
Arthur Gross-Schaefer, JD
Professor of Marketing & Business Law, LMU
Connection to Bioethics: Professor Arthur Gross-Schaefer approaches bioethics as a field that enables one to introduce one's core values of honesty and integrity, or others, into the practice of business or law. He considers how bioethics encompasses law, philosophy, and ethics, as well as a spiritual dimension.
Christopher Kaczor, PhD
Professor of Philosophy, LMU
Connection to Bioethics: Dr. Christopher Kaczor has written The Ethics of Abortion: Women’s Rights, Human Life, and the Question of Justice (Routledge), A Defense of Dignity: Creating Life, Destroying Life, and Protecting the Rights of Conscience (University of Notre Dame Press), The Edge of Life: Human Dignity and Contemporary Bioethics (Springer), and Life Issues, Medical Choices (Servant). He also serves on the ethics review board of the Maternal-Fetal Therapy Program at University of Southern California and writes a quarterly review of recent literature in bioethics for the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly.
Heather Tarleton, PhD, MS, MPAP
Assistant Professor of Health and Human Sciences, LMU
Connection to Bioethics: Dr. Heather Tarleton's interests in bioethics lie in research ethics (stem cell biology, public health, community-based participatory research, informed consent) and clinical ethics (elective c-sections, maternal choice vs medical necessity, access to end-of-life care, patient autonomy).
Thomas White, PhD
Conrad N. Hilton Chair of Business Ethics
Director, Center for Ethics and Business, LMU
Connection to Bioethics: Dr. Thomas White's approach to bioethics is rooted in his expertise in the field of business ethics. He has served as a consultant to corporations including, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Mutual Benefit Life, Meridian Productions, Institute of Management Accountants, and State Farm Insurance.