Meet Our Gender & Sex Development Specialists

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.

Earl Cheng, MD | Co-Director, Urologist

A co-founding Director, Earl Y. Cheng, MD, is a board-certified pediatric urologist. Dr. Cheng completed his urology residency at Northwestern University and his pediatric urology fellowship at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.  He is currently Professor of Urology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. He is a national expert in complex reconstructive urology and has a special interest in the medical and surgical management of individuals with sex development conditions. He also co-directs a basic science laboratory with Arun Sharma, PhD, that focuses on tissue engineering techniques for the urinary tract. Dr. Cheng provides direct clinical care as a member of our program's sex development team. View Dr. Cheng'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; Pediatric​ian

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 Hospital.

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.

Allison Goetsch, MS, CGC | Genetic Counselor

Allison Goetsch, MS, CGC, is a board-certified genetic counselor. Allison is a clinical instructor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. She has a specific interest in complex medical conditions known to affect fertility and works closely with the Oncofertility Consortium at Northwestern University to conduct fertility-related research and create provider and patient education materials about fertility preservation and restoration. Allison provides genetic counseling and coordination of genetic testing in the Gender and Sex Development program. 
 

Jennifer Jensen, RN, MSN, CPNP | 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.

Emilie K. Johnson, MD, MPH | Urology​

Emilie K. Johnson, MD, MPH, is a board-certified pediatric urologist. She is an assistant professor in Urology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. She completed her residency training at the University of Michigan and a dual fellowship in Pediatric Urology and Health Services Research at Boston Children's Hospital. Dr. Johnson provides urologic care in the DSD arm of the Gender and Sex Development Program, and is leading several clinical research projects aimed at advancing care for individuals with differences of sex development. View Dr. Johnson's profile video.

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!

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.​

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.​

Elizabeth Leeth, MS, CGC | Genetic Counselor

Elizabeth Leeth, MS, is a board-certified in genetic counselor. Elizabeth is an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics and is the Assistant Director at the Northwestern University Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling. She has a specific interest in the genetics of sex development and has helped to develop genetic testing strategies for the Disorders of Sexual Development clinic. She provides direct clinical care as part of the multidisciplinary Gender and Sex Development program.

Mary Beth Madonna, MD | Surgeon

Mary Beth Madonna, MD is board-certified in general surgery and pediatric surgery. Dr. Madonna is Attending Physician in the Division of Pediatric Surgery and Assistant Professor of Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She is a member of the Bowel Management Program at Lurie Children’s and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. She has a special interest in complex urogenital and anorectal malformations in children. Dr. Madonna will provide care for this group of patients as part of the multidisciplinary GSPD clinic. View Dr. Madonna's profile video. 

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.



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.

Elizabeth B. Yerkes, MD | Urologist

Elizabeth B. Yerkes, MD​, is a board-certified pediatric urologist. Dr. Yerkes completed her urology residency at Vanderbilt University and her Pediatric Urology fellowship at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. She is Associate Professor of Urology and has been on faculty at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago since 2005. As a member of the Division of Pediatric Urology, she is Director of Pediatric and Adolescent Urogynecology and Co-Director of Complex Reconstruction. Dr. Yerkes has special interest in the medical and surgical care of individuals with sex development conditions and associated complex anomalies of the genitourinary tract.  

Donald Zimmerman, MD | Endocrinologist

Donald Zimmerman, MD, is Division Head Pediatric Endocrinology. Dr Zimmerman is board-certified in pediatric endocrinology and pediatrics, as well as adult endocrinology and internal medicine. He is Professor of Pediatrics and is the Mae and Benjamin Allen Founder’s Board Professor of Endocrinology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. During his 25 years at Mayo Clinic, he and his colleagues studied new techniques for screening infants for congenital adrenal hyperplasia as well as studying  surgical treatment of this disorder. Dr Zimmerman participates in discussions concerning care of patients in the GSDP clinic  and provides direct care for a number of the patients. 

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Program Staff

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.

Danielle Lee, LCSW | Program Coordinator

Danielle Lee, LCSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the clinical coordinator of the Sex Development program at Lurie Children’s. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of St. Thomas and has great interest in psychosocial support within the clinical setting. Danielle is the point of contact for families within the Sex Development program and helps develop and facilitate family centered supports, events, and resources.
 

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.