Vital Signs, Winter 2015, cover
From the Dean: Winter 2015
Dean Margaret Dunn

After 33 years at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, it is my distinct pleasure to serve as dean of this remarkable medical school. In my years here, I have been involved in many aspects of medical education and administration, from serving as clerkship director in the Department of Surgery, to executive associate dean, to CEO of Wright State Physicians. I recall with special fondness nurturing several generations of medical students on their surgical rotations. I always enjoy running into them, reminiscing about their time here, and learning where they are now.

I have worked with many of you over the past three decades—as a teacher, a colleague, or a friend of the school, and I look forward to working with you again as we begin this journey into the next chapter of the Boonshoft School  of Medicine. Please drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.

Vital Signs is once again tackling a tough issue, one that keeps returning to  the headlines: gun violence. Although this divisive issue shows no signs of  resolution, many medical professionals believe the problem should be  confronted as a public health issue. You can read about the perspectives of several of our faculty and students who are working on the frontlines of this national affliction in our cover story, “Gun fight.”

We also take you back in time to the very founding of the medical school at Wright State in our feature chronicling the remarkable career of Dr. Richard DeWall. Dr. DeWall was an early pioneer in the development of the heart-lung machine who went on to play a critical role in the creation of our medical school.

You will meet several of our outstanding students and alumni and catch up on the latest research news from our faculty investigators.

Thank you all for your generous support of the Boonshoft School of Medicine throughout the years. As a new year begins, I look forward to meeting many of you as we chart the course ahead.

Margaret Dunn, M.D., M.B.A., FACS

Madhavi Kadakia, Ph.D.
Research Spotlight

Medicine gets personal

Skin cancer, esophageal cancer, and endometriosis are all on Madhavi Kadakia’s hit list.
Richard DeWall and his wife
A Closer Look

A real-life MacGyver builds a medical school

Dr. Richard DeWall played a critical role in the founding of Wright State’s medical school.
Dean Margaret Dunn
Faculty in Focus

The ties that bind

Margaret Dunn was the first woman on the surgery faculty and one of very few women at the school.
Gun graphic
Issues in Depth

Gun fight

“When you save a victim, you don’t give them a second chance at life, you give them a second chance at death."
Debate 2016 logo
Vital Signs » Winter 2015

News briefs from Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine

Dr. Gary LeRoy
Vital Signs » Winter 2015

Gary LeRoy, M.D., FAAFP, associate dean for student affairs and admissions, was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) at the medical society’s 2015 annual meeting in Denver.

The AAFP, which represents 120,900 physicians and medical students nationwide, is devoted to primary care. Its board of directors advocates on behalf of family physicians and patients nationwide to inspire positive change in the U.S. health care system.

CHC logo
Vital Signs » Winter 2015

For 25 years, the Center for Healthy Communities has been working in partnership with the Greater Dayton region to improve the health of the community. To recognize and honor its community and academic partnerships and programs, the center has planned a yearlong celebration.

Betty Cheney
Vital Signs » Winter 2015

Betty Cheney, M.D., M.P.H., exemplifies the collaboration between medicine and public health. As a student in the Boonshoft School of Medicine and the Wright State Master of Public Health Program, she focused on helping others attain high-quality lives by creating social and physical environments that promote good health.

The U.S. Public Health Service took note of her commitment to public health and recognized Cheney with a 2015 Excellence in Public Health Award at the Boonshoft School of Medicine commencement ceremonies in May.

John Donnelly
Vital Signs » Winter 2015

The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians has awarded John F. Donnelly, M.D., its 2015 Family Medicine Educator of the Year Award.

Donnelly, professor of family medicine, has been practicing medicine for 27 years. Following residency and an early career in Texas, Donnelly came to the Boonshoft School of Medicine in 1997.

Rosalyn Scott, M.D.
Vital Signs » Winter 2015
A new sim center and a virtual medical center are changing the face of medical education and health care delivery at the Dayton VA.
Vital Signs » Winter 2015

They met survivors of the Nazi death camps. They met the U.S. liberators, hardened soldiers who were ill prepared for what they would see at the camps. They met Jews who barely escaped the tightening Nazi noose in Europe, forced to leave doomed family members behind.

NEC Building
Vital Signs » Winter 2015

Wright State University’s dazzling new Neuroscience Engineering Collaboration Building a research powerhouse

Wright State University’s spectacular new Neuroscience Engineering Collaboration (NEC) Building promises to spawn pioneering research and medical breakthroughs by housing the collective brainpower of almost 30 top neuroscientists, engineers, and clinicians, and their teams.

Vital Signs » Winter 2015


Vital Signs » Winter 2015

Weiwen Long and his research team are on the hunt for mysteries of gene that affects cancer

A Wright State University researcher and his team are working on unlocking the mysteries of a gene that plays an important role in the formation and spread of lung cancer and other cancers.

Weiwen Long, Ph.D., assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, recently received a $1.7 million, five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute to conduct the research.

Vital Signs » Winter 2015

Researchers at the Boonshoft School of Medicine report that women with higher blood levels of certain chemicals tended to have slightly lower bone density and a higher prevalence of osteoporosis.

These chemicals, called perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), have been widely used for more than 60 years in applications such as nonstick cookware, stain-resistant and waterproof fabrics, furnishings, carpets, and food packaging.

Timothy Broderick, M.D.
Vital Signs » Winter 2015

Timothy Broderick, M.D., professor of surgery, was named associate dean for research affairs, effective January 1, 2015. He replaces Arthur Pickoff, M.D., who retired December 31, 2014. A surgeon and researcher, Broderick also serves as the chief scientist at the Wright State Research Institute.

Broderick served as a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. He spent seven years as professor of surgery and biomedical engineering at the University of Cincinnati and was founder and director of its Center for Surgical Innovation.

Madhavi Kadakia, Ph.D.
Vital Signs » Winter 2015

Madhavi P. Kadakia, Ph.D., was appointed chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, effective January 1, 2015.

Kadakia serves as a full professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, associate director of the Center for Genomics Research, and director of the master’s program within the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Vital Signs » Winter 2015

James R. Ebert, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., was appointed chair of the Department of Community Health, effective January 1, 2015. He replaced Arthur Pickoff, M.D., who retired December 31, 2014.

Ebert is the Oscar Boonshoft Chair and director of the Center for Global Health. He also is the lead physician for the Lipid Clinic at Dayton Children’s Hospital. 

Igor Elman, M.D.
Vital Signs » Winter 2015

Igor Elman, M.D., was appointed professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry, effective August 1, 2015. He replaces Jerald Kay, M.D., who retired after 24 years of service.

Elman comes to Wright State from Harvard Medical School (HMS), where he served as associate professor of psychiatry. Elman previously served as medical director for HMS-affiliated Community Mental Health Center and at the Providence VA Medical Center Substance Abuse Treatment Program in Providence, Rhode Island.

John Duby, M.D.
Vital Signs » Winter 2015

John C. Duby, M.D., has been appointed professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics, effective October 1, 2015. Duby comes to Wright State from the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), where he served as professor of pediatrics since 2008 and professor of clinical pediatrics from 2000 to 2008.

William Elder and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy
Vital Signs » Winter 2015

President Barack Obama referred to William Elder Jr., a fourth-year medical student, as an inspiration and an example of how precision medicine can help deliver the right treatment to the right patient at the right time during a press conference at the White House last January 2015.

This was Elder’s second visit to Washington, D.C., in less than two weeks. Elder attended the January 20, 2015 State of the Union Address as a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama.

Vital Signs » Winter 2015

The American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation announced in September that Nicole Craker is one of 19 medical students nationwide to receive the 2015 Physicians of Tomorrow Award. She is the fourth Boonshoft School of Medicine student to receive the award since 2012.

Adam Deardorff
Vital Signs » Winter 2015

Collaboration in new NEC Building starts with star student researchers

Since its grand opening in the spring of 2015, the Neuroscience Engineering Collaboration (NEC) Building has enabled some of the university’s brightest student researchers like Adam Deardorff and Emily Diller to work together to create innovations that improve people’s lives.

Vital Signs » Winter 2015

In March 2015, 91 graduating Boonshoft School of Medicine students learned where they will pursue their residency training.

Gathered with family and friends at the Wright State University Student Union, the students took part in the national event that has become a rite of passage.

Wright State students matched in outstanding programs in Dayton, throughout Ohio, and across the country, including at Case Western Reserve University, Duke University, Stanford University, Cambridge Health Alliance (Harvard) and Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Dean Margaret Dunn
Vital Signs » Winter 2015

Ninety-five members of the Boonshoft School of Medicine class of 2015 received their M.D. degrees during the school’s commencement ceremony at the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center on Friday, May 22.

John F. Donnelly, M.D., professor of family medicine and associate professor of community health, delivered the commencement address.

In addition to the degrees, several special awards and honors were presented during the ceremony:

Vital Signs » Winter 2015

The Boonshoft School of Medicine welcomed 111 new students during the Convocation and White Coat Ceremony last July, formally marking the start of their medical education.

During the ceremony, students took their first oath of professional medical ethics, concluding with the words, “I commit myself to a lifelong journey of learning how to cure, relieve, and comfort with humility and compassion.”

Each student received a white coat—a traditional symbol of the medical profession—personalized with his or her name and the medical school patch.

Vital Signs » Winter 2015

Randall W. Franz, M.D., ’92, on the forefront of advancing vascular care

When Randall Franz, M.D., was in college, his grandfather died suddenly during surgery to correct a vascular problem. His tragic death inspired Franz to become a vascular surgeon.

“I wanted to go into the field of vascular surgery to help people like my grandfather and to advance vascular care,” said Franz, who is now known as one of the leading experts in the field of vascular surgery.

WrightCurriculum dimensions
Vital Signs » Winter 2015
To ensure that future graduates can meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving health care environment, Boonshoft School of Medicine is revamping its medical education with the creation of a new WrightCurriculum.
Roger Siervogel
Vital Signs » Winter 2015

Roger M. Siervogel, Ph.D., retired director of the Lifespan Health Research Center and longtime faculty member at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, died on April 15, 2015, at the age of 70.

Vital Signs » Winter 2015

Heather Hostetler, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Wright State University, died August 5, 2015, at the age of 41.

She had been diagnosed with gastric carcinoma and died suddenly due to complications from aspiration pneumonia.

Hostetler joined Wright State University in September 2009 with a matrix position in both the Boonshoft School of Medicine and the College of Science and Mathematics and was awarded tenure in summer 2014.

ALumni Notes
Vital Signs » Winter 2015

We’re proud of our alumni and graduates of our residency programs and want to spread the word about your achievements. If you have professional news or personal updates to share—or simply want to stay in touch—please contact the Office of Advancement at or 937.245.7610.

Ruth Claros
Vital Signs » Winter 2015

Scholarship student garners national award

Ruth Claros’ father never attended school, and her mother only completed the sixth grade. College was not an option for most people in the Los Angeles community where she grew up. Despite the odds, she was determined to graduate from high school and go to college. Medical school didn’t seem possible.

“For me to dream about going to college was a really big thing,” she said. “Applying for college was really scary. I felt alone. I did not have people to turn to when I had questions.”