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Gender Development Team

Program Clinicians

Robert Garofalo, MD, MPH

Co-Director and Attending Physician, Adolescent Medicine (he/him)

Robert Garofalo, MD, MPH, is board-certified in pediatrics and adolescent medicine. Dr. Garofalo also directs Lurie Children’ s Adolescent/Young Adult HIV Program, the Division of Adolescent Medicine, and the Center for Gender, Sexuality and HIV Prevention through Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute. He is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. He is a national expert on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) health issues, as well as adolescent sexuality and HIV infection. Dr. Garofalo provides direct clinical care as a member of this team. View Dr. Garofalo's profile video.

Lisa Simons, MD

Attending Physician, Adolescent Medicine (she/her)

Dr. Simons is an attending physician in The Potocsnak Family Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. She is board-certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Dr. Simons attended medical school at Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv and completed her pediatric residency at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore. She completed her Adolescent Medicine fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, where she trained at the Center for Transyouth Health and Development.

Dr. Simons provides direct clinical care and participates in research. Clinical interests also include development of available educational resources related to gender health.

Cherie Priya Dhar, MD

Fellowship Director, Adolescent Medicine Specialist (she/her)

Dr. Dhar is an attending physician in The Potocsnak Family Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Lurie Children’s and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. She is board certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Dr. Dhar attended The George Washington University School of Medicine, completed her residency in Pediatrics at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio and fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Dhar is the Program Director of the Adolescent Medicine fellowship. Her clinical interests include adolescent reproductive and gynecologic health and the care of LGBTQ+ young people.

Jennifer Jensen, MSN, APRN-NP, CPNP

Adolescent Medicine Nurse Practitioner (she/her)

Jennifer Jensen, RN, MSN, CPNP, is a pediatric nurse practitioner in the Division of Adolescent Medicine. She has been on staff at Lurie Children’s since 2001. After having worked with HIV infected and affected adolescents and young adults in the Division of Special Infectious Diseases for more than 14 years, she joined the Division of Adolescent Medicine in December 2015. Jennifer received her BSN and MSN from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed a nurse practitioner fellowship in Adolescent Health at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in June 2001. Her clinical interests include general adolescent health as well as providing care for gender non-conforming and transgender youth.

Juan J. Lado, MD

Attending Physician, Endocrinology (he/him/his)

Juan J. Lado, MD, is board-certified in pediatrics and pediatric endocrinology. Dr. Lado completed his pediatrics residency at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and his pediatric endocrinology fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Among his clinical and academic efforts, he cares for children in the areas of diabetes, obesity, growth, puberty, thyroid, and other endocrine conditions. He provides direct clinical care as an endocrinologist in the Gender Development Program.

J. Whitehead, MD

Attending Physician, Endocrinology (they/them)

Diane Chen, PhD

Behavioral Health Director (she/her)

Diane Chen, PhD, is the founding psychologist for the Gender & Sex Development Program, Behavioral Health Director for The Potocsnak Family Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Pediatrics, at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She directs behavioral health services within the Gender & Sex Development Program and provides consultation, assessment, and therapeutic services within the interdisciplinary clinics for transgender and gender expansive youth and for youth with intersex variations/differences in sex development. Dr. Chen maintains an active research program broadly focused on psychosocial functioning, reproductive health and fertility preservation, and medical decision-making among gender and sexual minority youth and young adults.

Dr. Chen received her PhD (2012) and MA (2008) from Temple University, her BA (2004) from the University of Michigan, and completed her pre-doctoral internship (2012) and post-doctoral fellowship (2013) in clinical child and pediatric psychology at Lurie Children’s.

Claire A. Coyne, PhD

Pediatric Psychologist (she/her)

Claire Coyne, PhD is a medical psychologist in the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Her clinical training and work has focused broadly on providing evidence-based individual, family and group treatments for at-risk youth and their families, including youth exposed to childhood trauma and transgender and gender-nonconforming youth. Dr. Coyne collaborates with the Center for Childhood Resilience to promote the use of evidence-based interventions and trauma-informed practices in community and school settings. Dr. Coyne provides direct clinical care through the Gender Sex Development Program.  

Dr. Coyne received her PhD in Clinical Science from the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University (2014), and her BA (2004) from the University of Chicago. She completed her pre-doctoral internship (2014) and post-doctoral fellowship (2015) in clinical and pediatric psychology at Lurie Children’s.

Aron C. Janssen, MD

Vice Chair, Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health (he/him/his)

Aron Janssen, MD, is a clinical Associate Professor, and the Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, in the Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Prior to joining Northwestern, Dr. Janssen was on faculty at the New York University Child Study Center, where he was the founder and director of the Gender and Sexuality Service and the co-director of the NYU Consultation-Liaison Service. His time there was defined by his innovative program development and delivery and community advocacy. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Colorado, and his general psychiatry residency and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at NYU. Dr. Janssen is an expert in transgender mental health across the lifespan, and his primary clinical and research interests have focused on understanding co-occurring mental health disorders among transgender and gender diverse youth. Dr. Janssen’s work has been widely published, and he has had the privilege to present locally, nationally and internationally on his work. He is an associate editor of the journal Transgender Health, and sits on several international workgroups that are setting the standards of care for the World Professional Association of Transgender Health.  He is a member of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issue Committee for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and on the advisory board for the Trevor Project. His most recent book is Affirmative Mental Health Care for Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth.

Briahna Yuodsnukis, PhD

Psychology Fellow (she/her)

Briahna Yuodsnukis, PhD, is a psychology fellow in the Potocsnak Family Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine. She is receiving specialized clinical training providing clinical care for transgender and gender diverse youth as well as for youth with differences in sex development through Lurie Children’s Gender & Sex Development Program, a multidisciplinary team designed to support the physical and psychosocial health of children and adolescents. Her clinical training has focused on providing evidence-based treatment for trauma-related disorders, disordered eating, and mood disorders primarily in diverse populations. Dr. Yuodsnukis received her BS (2015) in psychology and criminal justice from Sam Houston State University. She received her MS (2019) and PhD (2021) in clinical psychology with an emphasis in LGBTQ+ psychology from Palo Alto University. She completed her doctoral internship (2021) at the Medical College of Georgia/Charlie Norwood VA – Trauma Track.

Noopur Gangopadhyay, MD

Pediatric Plastic Surgeon (she/her)

Noopur Gangopadhyay, MD,​ is an Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Gangopadhyay completed specialty training in both craniofacial/pediatric plastic surgery reconstruction and microsurgery, with fellowships at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Gangopadhyay specializes in congenital, traumatic, and oncologic reconstruction, performing a wide variety of plastic surgery procedures for pediatric patients.

Dr. Gangopadhyay is involved in clinical outcomes research as well as education development. She is committed to academic plastic surgery, with 11 peer-reviewed publications, 6 book chapters, and 14 presentations at national meetings. Additionally, she is the recipient of the Jessie L. Ternberg award and the Plastic Surgery Resident Teaching award, during her training at Washington University in St. Louis, and has a strong interested in medical student and resident education. She is involved in several plastic surgery organizations, and serves as a committee member for many of these societies.

Jennifer L. McGrath, MD

Attending Physician, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (she/her)

Dr. Jennifer McGrath joined the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Division at Lurie Children’s in 2020. She completed her residency training in Chicago at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University where she developed her love of pediatric plastic surgery.

Marleta Reynolds, MD

Pediatric Surgeon (she/her)

Marleta Reynolds, MD, is Lurie Children's Chief of Surgery and Professor of Surgery at the Feinberg School. Dr. Reynolds is board-certified in general surgery, pediatric surgery and surgical critical care. View Dr. Reynolds' profile video.

Joel E. Frader, MD, MA

Ethicist (he/him)

Joel E. Frader, MD, is A Todd Davis Professor of Academic General Pediatrics and Professor of Medical Humanities and Bioethics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and Division Head, Pediatric Palliative Care at Lurie Children’s. He is a national leader in pediatric palliative care and bioethics. His interests focus on ethical issues of children in the health care system, especially ethical problems associated with innovation in medicine, organ transplantation, children with sex development conditions and gender identity, and end-of-life care decision making in pediatrics. His major clinical activity is in palliative and hospice care for children.

Dani Malnekoff, BSN, RN

Registered Nurse (she/her)

Dani Malnekoff, BSN, RN, is a Registered Nurse with Adolescent Medicine at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. She is passionate about the pediatric population, specifically teenagers, and enjoys working with patients of diverse backgrounds. Dani is also a competitive powerlifter who also enjoys reading and cooking. She is currently pursuing a doctorate degree to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.

Rashmi Kabre, MD

Pediatric Surgeon (she/her)

Rashmi Kabre, MD, is board-certified in both adult general surgery and pediatric surgery. Dr. Kabre completed her general surgery residency at Rush University Medical Center/Cook County Hospital and subspecialty fellowship at Lurie Children's. She is an Associate Professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and has been on staff at Lurie Children’s for over 10 years, serving as the Pediatric Trauma Director during this time.

Dr. Kabre has a wide variety of clinical interests, specializing in traditional as well as minimally invasive treatment of a wide variety of congenital and acquired conditions across the age spectrum, both thoracic and abdominal. Dr. Kabre is involved in clinical outcomes research as well as education development. She has a strong interest in medical student and resident education for which she has been the recipient of many teaching awards in her career, and currently serves as College Mentor for the Medical Student Class of 2024.

Program Staff

Janay, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (she/her)

Janay is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with experience supporting families, children, and adolescents, in community, medical and mental health settings since 2004. Janay joined the Gender & Sex Development team two years ago after serving as the social worker in Lurie Children’s Primary Care clinic for two years. As the Gender Program social worker, Janay provides ongoing patient centered and strengths-based support to patients and families. In this role, Janay provides linkage to community resources and mental health supports as well as ongoing care to patients and families as they navigate through our program. In addition to her work at Lurie Children’s, Janay has provided youth and family centered support at Youth Outreach Services, Alternatives Inc and North Lawndale College Prep High School. Janay received her Master’s in Social Work from Case Western Reserve University and has been a Licensed Social Worker since 2010. Janay strongly encourages patients and families that are interested in our program to reach out!


Licensed Social Worker (he/him)

Nate (he/him) is a licensed clinical social worker representing medical social work with the gender development program at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, IL, a multidisciplinary team designed to support the physical and psychosocial health of children and adolescents. Nate joined the gender development program after conducting HIV research for three years in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Lurie Children’s. Nate works alongside families of gender diverse youth at various stages of their respective gender journeys in completing readiness for various medical interventions related to transitioning, connecting families to ongoing support services, and working alongside adolescents as they navigate through the program. Nate completed his Bachelor of Social Work at Ball State University and Master of Social Work at Indiana University Purdue University. Nate received his LCSW in 2021.

Kristin Sabatino, LCSW

Psychiatric Social Worker (she/her)

Kristin Sabatino is a psychiatric social worker in the Gender Development Program within The Potocsnak Family Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine. She has extensive experience working with children and families in a variety of settings, including as a middle school teacher and special education aide, since receiving her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2001. She earned her Master’s in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago in 2016 and has worked to support families facing homelessness, adults with HIV or AIDS, and children in foster care since that time. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Kristin uses trauma-informed approaches, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to support her clients. She believes that the most important aspect of therapy is the relationship between the client and the therapist, and she works to build and maintain trust and rapport with her clients from the moment they meet.

Drake Schoeppl, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (he/him)

Drake Schoeppl is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the Gender Development Program. Prior to joining the gender development program, Drake worked as a crisis therapist in an inpatient psychiatric hospital and also in the community. Drake has a variety of experience working with individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses and experiencing various crisis situations. He has done crisis and community work providing crisis intervention, brief therapy, and resources to individuals and communities both in Miami, Florida and in Chicago. He feels that treatment should be viewed from a trauma-informed and cultural lens when working with individuals and families. He received his Masters of Social Work from Barry University in 2019.

Research Team

Katherine Gwynn, BA

Behavioral Research Coordinator II (they/she)

Katherine is a research coordinator for the Trans Youth Care Study which is a multisite longitudinal observational study examining the outcomes of existing medical treatment protocols for gender dysphoria in two distinct cohorts: youth initiating puberty suppression and youth pursuing a phenotypic gender change. Their past work has centered on sexual health education, reproductive justice organizing, substance abuse counseling, reproductive health, and gynecologic malignancy research. She is also a playwright and theatre artist, and has done teaching artistry with youth, including serving as Co-Director for Project Pride, a free youth theatre program for queer, trans and allied youth ages 12-18. Katherine earned a BA in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and English at the University of Kansas.

Victoria Kolbuck, LSW, MSW

Behavioral Research Coordinator III (she/her)

Victoria is a research coordinator for Trans Youth Decision-Making Project which is a study that investigates how cognitive and emotional functioning affects medical decision-making in per pubertal transgender youth. She also coordinates Puberty Blockers: Reported Experiences from Youth and Families, a study that aims to identify neurodevelopmental domains to assess the effects of pubertal suppression treatment. Additionally, she coordinates Project AFFRMED, a study that will develop and test a patient-centered decision aid designed for transgender youth to facilitate discussions on fertility preservation.

Navy Spiecker, MS

Behavioral Research Coordinator I (she/her)

Navy is a behavioral research coordinator within the Potocsnak Family Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine. She is the primary coordinator for a new multi-site grant studying the impact of pubertal suppression on adolescent neural and mental health trajectories. She is also co-coordinator for Gender Journey Project, and an active member of the broader psychological community. Navy earned her BA and MS degrees in Psychology from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University.