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 a bioethics scholar and professor. In his scholarship, he has dealt with methodological questions in bioethics and anthropological themes at the crossroad of theology and philosophy. He is the author/co-author of four 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). His latest book in theology is Pope Francis on the Joy of Love: Pastoral Reflections on Amoris Laetitia (Paulist Press, 2018). Dr. Dell’Oro has also translated two books from German, and published in national and international journals, such as International Journal of Philosophy and Theology, Theological Studies; Health Progress; Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy The Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy; INTAMS Review; Rivista di Teologia Morale; Vida y Etica, and Persona y bioetica. He has lectured widely in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. In addition to having served on various bioethics committees in the Los Angeles area, he is currently on the executive board of the South California Bioethics Committee Consortium. Dr. Dell’Oro is also a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, and of the Theological Commission for the Diocese of Los Angeles.
STAFF OF THE BIOETHICS INSTITUTE
Gianna McMillan, DBe
University Hall 4517
Dr. 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
David Rogoff, MFA
University Hall 4510
Senior Administrative Coordinator
David Rogoff is senior administrative coordinator to both the Bioethics Institute and Yoga Studies program.
Alan Flores, BA
University Hall 4514
Alan is a full-time student in the Bioethics MA program and assists the Bioethics Institute's faculty and staff.
Flavius Rusu, BA
University Hall 4514
Craves Scholar Fellow
Flavius is a full-time student in the Bioethics MA program. As the Craves Scholar Fellow, he creates and curates scholarly content for the BioethicsHub. If you have a submission for the BioethicsHub please contact Flavius.
Hannah Chaddha, BA
University Hall 4514
Craves Impact Fellow
Hannah is a full-time student in the Bioethics MA program. As the Craves Impact Fellow, she utilizes demographic tracking and qualitative tools to gauge the impact of the Institute's community outreach. With this information, she assists the Director in the design of promotional activities that enhance the Institute's presence in Southern California, the web, and social media.
FACULTY OF THE BIOETHICS INSTITUTE
Name PositionRoberto 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
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 MoreGianna McMillan, DBeUniversity Hall 4517310-258-5416Part-Time FacultyDr. McMillan received her Master’s Degree in Bioethics from LMU and her Doctorate from Loyola Chicago. She has extensive experience as a Subject/Patient Advocate on local and national IRBs, was a member of the Subpart A Subcommittee for the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protection, and is a member of the FDA’s Pediatric Advisory Committee. Dr. McMillan has served on the board of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, and is currently a Board Member for PRIM&R (Pubic Responsibility in Medicine & research.) She is the Director of Community Engagement for the academic journal, Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics. Her primary interests are consent issues in clinical research and the use of narrative as an educational tool in bioethics. Click here for Dr. McMillan’s CV.Thomas V. Cunningham, PhD
Thomas.Cunningham@lmu.eduPart-Time FacultyDr. 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.
Theresa Drought, PhD, RN
Theresa.Drought@lmu.eduPart-Time FacultyDr. 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, MAPart-Time FacultyJennifer Gumer is a partner at CGL LLP, Los Angeles, and provides strategic counseling, practical advice, and expert advocacy to clients with production needs. She handles all interactions with federal, state, and local regulators who oversee product development, manufacturing, and marketing activities, including the FDA and Local Hemp Regulators. Before joining CGL LLP, Jennifer worked at the international law firm Gibson Dunn and Crutcher for more than six years. The focus of her practice at Gibson was FDA, healthcare, and life sciences matters. Jennifer received her Juris Doctorate from New York University, School of Law, and her Master’s in Bioethics from Columbia University. Her interest lies at the intersection of policy and ethics, specifically concerning neuroscientific and genetic developments.Joseph Raho, PhD
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."Melis Alkin, Psy.D., ABPP, FTPart-Time Faculty
Dr. Melis Alkin is a board certified clinical psychologist licensed in California and in British Columbia (out of state). In addition to receiving her doctorate degree in 2004 a, her board certification in 2007, she has also obtained a Master’s degree in Bioethics at Loyola Marymount University in 2017 and became a Fellow of Thanatology (death, grief, and bereavement) in 2018. Dr. Alkin specializes in trauma, death, dying and bereavement from a trauma informed integrative and humanistic perspective. She currently has a private practice in Redondo Beach and works as a consulting clinical psychologist to a nonprofit organization that provides training and therapy to humanitarian aid works around the world.
Dr. Alkin's CV can be read here.Matthew Shea, PhDPart-Time FacultyDr. Matthew Shea is the Senior Clinical Ethics Fellow at the UCLA Health System Ethics Center in Los Angeles, where he is completing a two-year fellowship in clinical healthcare ethics. Prior to coming to L.A., Dr. Shea received his PhD in philosophy from Saint Louis University in 2018, specializing in moral philosophy and bioethics. His current research focuses on the nature of well-being, the normative foundations of healthcare ethics, and issues related to disability. Dr. Shea is currently teaching “Bioethics at the End of Life."
Dr. Shea's CV and research can be found here.
MINOR AFFILIATED FACULTY OF THE BIOETHICS INSTITUTE
Name PositionChristopher Kaczor, PhDDr. Cristopher Kaczor (rhymes with razor) graduated from the Honors Program of Boston College and earned a Ph.D. four years later from the University of Notre Dame. A Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Kaczor is a former Federal Chancellor Fellow at the University of Cologne and William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in the James Madison Program at Princeton University. His twelve books include The Gospel of Happiness, The Seven Big Myths about Marriage, A Defense of Dignity, The Seven Big Myths about the Catholic Church, The Ethics of Abortion, O Rare Ralph McInerny: Stories and Reflections on a Legendary Notre Dame Professor, Thomas Aquinas on the Cardinal Virtues; Life Issues-Medical Choices; Thomas Aquinas on Faith, Hope, and Love; The Edge of Life, and Proportionalism and the Natural Law Tradition. Dr. Kaczor’s views have been in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, National Re view, NPR, BBC, EWTN, ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, MSNBC, TEDx, and The Today Show.Dr. Kaczor's CV can be found here. Kam Dahlquis, PhDDr. Kam Dahlquist is an Associate Professor of Biology at Loyola Marymount University. Dr. Dahlquist earned a B.A. in Biology from Pomona College and a Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Dr. Dahlquist performed postdoctoral research at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease at the University of California, San Francisco, and taught for two years at Vassar College before joining the LMU faculty in 2005.Janie Steckenrider, PhDDr. Steckenrider is Associate Professor of Political Science at LMU and focuses on the areas of gender politics and political gerontology. Dr. Steckenrider received her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and has an M.A. from the University of Notre Dame. Her publications include Women as Political Leaders, co-authored with Michael Genovese (Taylor and Francis Press, 2013), and New Direction in Old Age Policies (SUNY Press, 1998), where she highlighted aging as a female phenomenon. Her work as also been published in Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, Journal of Health and Human Services Administration, Southwest Journal of Aging, Encyclopedia of Aging, and Journal of Women and Politics. Dr. Steckenrider has been a Research Consultant to the National Council on Aging, a recipient of Administration on Aging grants, and has served on the Boards of Directors of a hospital, a skilled nursing facility, and a municipal senior commission. Tim Shanahan, PhD
Timothy.Shanahan@lmu.eduDr. Tim Shanahan’s main scholarly interest is in the history and philosophy of science, with a special interest in evolutionary biology. His curiosity about such issues began as an undergraduate Biology and Philosophy major at the State University of New York at Cortland, and continued through a master’s degree in the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Notre Dame, where he also completed a Ph.D. Dr. Shanahan was also fortunate to be awarded a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Science Studies Program at the University of California, San Diego, which helped to broaden his perspective on science.Roy Fisher, PhD
Dr. Fisher’s trans-disciplinary work takes place at the intersection of cultural anthropology and classical biblical studies. This work includes a critical analysis of the ways in which sacred texts and traditions are taken up within modern and contemporary forms of discourse along with their respective technologies of power relations (including the interplay and interference with knowledge relations in the present). Dr. Fisher teaches courses on Science and Theology.
Dr. Fisher’s CV can be read here.