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.
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.
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.
Jaclyn L. Papadakis, PhD, is a medical psychologist in the Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Lurie Children’s and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 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 for youth with chronic health conditions. She works with youth with medical conditions marked by differences of sex development (DSD) as part of the Sex Development Program, providing consultation and psychotherapy. She has additional clinical roles in the hospital, including working with the Spina Bifida Center and as an attending on the Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Consultation Service. She is active in multiple research groups, with a focus on psychosocial and family functioning among youth with chronic health conditions, specifically those with DSD, spina bifida, or diabetes. Dr. Papadakis received her PhD (2018), MA (2015), and BS (2010) in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University Chicago, and completed her pre-doctoral internship (2018) and post-doctoral training (2019) in Clinical Child and Pediatric Psychology at Lurie Children’s.
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.
Dr. J Whitehead (they/them) is a Pediatric Endocrinologist at Lurie Children’s and an Assistant Professor of Endocrinology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. They completed their residency in pediatrics and their fellowship in pediatric endocrinology at Lurie Children’s. As part of the transgender community, Dr. Whitehead is passionate about improving access to and quality of care for transgender and gender-diverse kids, as well as kids with intersex traits or differences of sex development. They are a member of the Pediatric Endocrine Society’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion task force and the Lurie Children’s Pediatric Resident and Fellow Diversity & Inclusion Committee. They provide direct clinical care in the Gender & Sex Development Program.
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.
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.
Adam Davies, BS
Health Educator (they/them)
Adam Davies is a Health Educator for both the Sex Development Program and the Potocsnak Family Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Lurie Children’s Hospital. They hold a Bachelor’s in Social Policy and Gender Studies from Northwestern University. In their role they serve as a patient advocate for youth who identify as intersex or have differences of sex development. They also assist with creating educational materials for parents and youth who have differences of sex development and facilitating sensitivity trainings. In the Division of Adolescent Medicine, Adam teaches sex education, substance use prevention, and facilitates gender inclusivity trainings.
Health Educator (she/her/hers)
Adrienne Marks, is a dual-certified Family and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She received her undergraduate nursing degree from the University of Portland and her graduate nursing training from the University of Southern California and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Adrienne is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community and an individual living with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH). In her role as health educator, she serves as an advocate for individuals living with CAH and helps to educate the community regarding all aspects of CAH. She has a passion for healthy policy, specifically adrenal crisis health care access and emergency medication training.