Robert Garofalo, MD, MPH | Co-Director, Pediatrician
Our co-founding Director, 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 the Lurie Children's Research Center. 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.
Courtney Finlayson, MD | Medical Director, Sex Development Program; Endocrinologist
Courtney Finlayson, MD, is board-certified in pediatrics and pediatric endocrinology. Dr. Finlayson completed her pediatric residency at Rush University and pediatric endocrinology fellowship at Lurie Children’s Hospital (formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital). She is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Among her clinical and academic efforts, she leads the Gender and Sex Diversity Working Group of the Oncofertility Consortium, which seeks to improve fertility preservation options for individuals with differences in sex development and for those who are transgender. She provides direct clinical care as the endocrinologist in the Gender and Sex Development Program.
Lisa Simons, MD | Medical Director, Gender Development Program; Pediatrician
Lisa Simons, MD, is a physician at Lurie Children’s Division of Adolescent Medicine and an Instructor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She completed her pediatric residency at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and her fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, where she trained at the Center for Transyouth Health and Development, one of the country’s largest clinics providing care for gender non-conforming and transgender youth. Dr. Simons provides direct clinical care as a physician in the Gender and Sex Development program.
Diane Chen, PhD | Pediatric Psychologist
Diane Chen, PhD, is a medical psychologist in the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She specializes in treating mood, anxiety and behavioral disorders using evidence-based individual, family, and group psychotherapeutic approaches with gender- and sex-diverse youth. Dr. Chen regularly staffs the multidisciplinary Gender Development Clinic for transgender, gender-diverse, and gender questioning youth and the Sex Development Clinic for youth with medical conditions marked by differences of sex development. She is actively involved in the clinical and academic endeavors of the Pediatric/Adolescent Gender and Sex Diversity Fertility Working Group. Her research examines health behavior, mental health, gender identity development and clinical decision-making among gender- and sex-diverse children, adolescents, and youth adults and their families.
Dr. Chen received her PhD (2012) and MA (2008) in Clinical Psychology from Temple University, her BA (2004) from the University of Michigan, and completed her internship (2012) and post-doctoral training (2013) in clinical child and pediatric psychology at Lurie Children’s.
Claire Coyne, PhD | Pediatric Psychologist
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.
Joel Frader, MD | Ethicist
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.
Noopur Gangopadhyay, MD | Plastic Surgery
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 Jensen, RN, MSN, CPNP | Adolescent Medicine Nurse Practitioner
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 (formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital) 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.
Kevin Keiser, RN, BSN | Registered Nurse
Kevin Keiser, RN, BSN, is a registered nurse in the Division of Adolescent Medicine. He has been on staff at Lurie Children’s since 2016. Kevin has been a nurse for over 9 years. Kevin worked at Howard Brown Health and gained experience working with transgender patients, patients living with HIV and helped coordinate care for patients with HCV. He began his nursing career in NYC working in a burn center, and then spending 4 years working in a neonatal ICU. He received his BSN from Drexel University. His clinical interests include general adolescent health, STI treatment and prevention, HIV treatment, HCV treatment, and providing care for gender non-conforming and transgender youth. In his free time he runs, bikes, read books when time allows, and enjoys playing board games with friends.
Jennifer Miller, MD | Endocrinologist
Jennifer Miller, MD, is board-certified in pediatrics and pediatric endocrinology. Dr. Miller completed her pediatrics residency at Lurie Children’s and pediatric endocrinology fellowship at the University of Chicago. She is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Among her clinical and academic efforts, she cares for children in the areas of diabetes, differences of growth, puberty, thyroid, and bone health, as well as children in the Gender Development Program. She provides direct clinical care as an endocrinologist in the Gender and Sex Development Program.
Marleta Reynolds, MD | Surgeon
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.
Ginny (Virginia) Scheffler, RN, BSN | Registered (Advanced) Nurse (she/her)
Ginny Scheffler is a registered (Advanced) nurse in the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Pediatric Gynecology since 2005. Ginny started her career as a student nurse at formerly Children’s Memorial and has been a nurse for over twenty six years with inpatient and ambulatory experience. She received her BSN from Loyola University. Her clinical interests include general adolescent health, gynecologic services and providing care for gender non-conforming and transgender youth. Ginny is a recipient of the Earl J. Fredrick Award and Nurse Exemplar Family Advocate in 2014.
David Javier Thompson, LCSW | Social Worker
David Javier Thompson, LSW, is a psychiatric social worker in the Division of Adolescent Medicine. He specializes in treating mood, anxiety and behavioral concerns using evidence-based individual, group and family-based psychotherapeutic approaches with gender and sexuality-diverse youth. Javier regularly staffs the multi-disciplinary Gender Development Clinic for transgender and gender diverse youth.
Javier received his BA (2008) in Creative Writing & Literature from the University of Michigan, BA (2012) in Psychology from the University of Louisville, MA (2013) in Refugee Care from the University of Essex with via Fulbright Grant, and a MA (2015) in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago. He completed his clinical social work internship (2015) at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
Ren Bernheim, MEd| Adolescent Medicine Research Associate (they/them)
Ren Bernheim, M.Ed is a Research Associate for the Transgender Youth Care Study in the Division of Adolescent Medicine. The Transgender Youth Care Study is an R01 NIH-funded longitudinal observational study being conducted at four sites (Lurie Children’s, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Boston Children’s Hospital and the University of California at San Francisco) to examine the outcomes of existing medical treatment protocols for gender dysphoria in two distinct cohorts: youth initiating puberty suppression and youth pursuing medical transition.
Ren has been providing education in healthcare settings since 2007. They specialize in working with healthcare providers to be more inclusive, affirming, and accessible to transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, and improving patient/provider communication about gender and sexuality. Ren received their B.S. in Public Health from Temple University in 2011 and Master’s in Human Sexuality Education from Widener University in 2018.
Afiya Sajwani, BA | TODAY! App, Trans Youth Decision Making Project (they/them/she/her)
Afiya is a behavioral research associate for the TODAY! App study, which is a small randomized control trial testing the feasibility of the TODAY! mobile phone application. Afiya also works on the Trans Youth Decision-Making Project which investigates how cognitive and emotional functioning affects medical decision-making in peripubertal transgender youth.
Victoria Kolbuck, MSW | Trans Youth Decision-Making Project
Victoria is a research coordinator for Trans Youth Decision-Making Project. This study investigates how cognitive and emotional functioning affects medical decision-making in peripubertal transgender youth. Study findings will also inform the development of an assessment tool that would assist mental health clinicians in assessing youth’s understanding of the potential risks and benefits of pubertal suppression treatment.
Janay Joyce, LCSW | Social Worker
Janay Joyce is a Licensed Clinic Social Worker with experience supporting families, children, and adolescents, community medical and mental health settings since 2004. Janay joined the Gender & Sex Development team after serving as the social worker in Lurie Children’s Primary Care clinic for 2 years. As the Gender Program social worker, Janay provides ongoing patient centered and strengths based support to patients and families. In this role, Janay conducts intakes for individuals interested in the program, provides linkage to community resources and mental health supports and provides ongoing care to patients and families. 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!
Josephine Kearns | Program Coordinator, TransMentor Program
Josephine Kearns serves as Program Coordinator for the TransMentor Program at Lurie Children’s, the first program of its kind in the United States. In her role she also conducts training sessions around gender diversity for schools and other organizations. Josephine is also a longtime theatre artist, working as a stage manager, production manager, and dramaturg specializing in transgender and queer productions, and is an Associate Artist with TimeLine Theatre in Chicago. She holds a B.A. in Theatre from George Washington University.
Jennifer Leininger, MEd | Program Manager
Jennifer Leininger, MEd, manages the Gender & Sex Development Program at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. As Program Manager, Jennifer leads community, policy and advocacy initiatives. She specializes in working with schools and organizations to be more inclusive of gender diversity. Jennifer continues to develop and implement educational sessions to support the inclusion of gender expansive youth and their families in their schools and communities. Since 2008, Jennifer has provided family-centered, patient support while working in Lurie Children's Division of Adolescent Medicine. Jennifer holds a Master of Education degree from DePaul University in addition to a BS (Marketing) and a BA (Theatre) from Miami University. In addition to her work at Lurie Children's, Jennifer has worked on adolescent and children's programming with other nationally recognized organizations, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Old Town School of Folk Music and About Face Youth Theatre.
Ava L. Wells-Quantrell | Program Assistant and Outreach Worker
Ava is a Program Assistant and Outreach Worker at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Ava is currently an International Business and Relations major at Harold Washington College in Chicago. As a research assistant with the Gender Division, she studies gender diversity and leadership and mentorship opportunities for both the community and youth as well. She is a writer, translator, and interpreter and intends to one day start gender-specific and diversity programs in Haiti and Ghana.