Disorders of Sex Development (DSD) Center

  • Meet Our Team of DSD Specialists

    The disorders of sex development team is home to specialists with a wide variety of backgrounds and areas of focus. Our mission is to provide excellent, innovative care to improve the medical and quality-of-life outcomes of patients and families living with complex multisystem conditions. For appointments and referrals, contact:

    Kimberly S. Kennedy, RNII, CPN
    DSD Clinical Coordinator
    513-803-4DSD (4373) or 1-800-344-2462, ext. 4373

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    Behavioral Medicine / Psychology

    A photo of Nicole Zahka.

    Nicole E. Zahka, PhD
    Clinical Psychologist, Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology

    513-636-4336

    nicole.zahka@cchmc.org

    Nicole E. Zahka, PhD

    Clinical Psychologist, Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology

    Phone: 513-636-4336

    Email: nicole.zahka@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Adjustment to chronic illness; adolescence; anxiety and related disorders; individual and family therapy; psychological assessment

    Education and Training

    PhD: University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, 2010.

    Fellowship: A.I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Endocrinology

    Meilan M. Rutter, MD

    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-4744

    Fax: 513-636-7486

    Email: meilan.rutter@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Bone health and calcium metabolism; disorders of growth, puberty and sex development; endocrine function in cancer survivors; endocrine function in neuromuscular disorders

    Research Interests

    Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) therapy in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

    Biography

    Meilan Rutter is board-certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Endocrinology. She is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, and joined the faculty of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in 2008. Currently, Dr. Rutter is assistant director of the Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship Program.

    Dr. Rutter received her degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB, BCh) from the University of Wales College of Medicine. She completed her training in Pediatrics in New Zealand, and was admitted to Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP) in 1995. She underwent fellowship training in Pediatric Endocrinology at Cincinnati Children's. She completed further pediatric residency training to achieve American Board of Pediatrics specialty and subspecialty board certification.

    Dr. Rutter treats children and adolescents with endocrine disorders and diabetes mellitus. She serves as a consultant for the Neuromuscular Comprehensive Care Center and the Neuro-Oncology program at Cincinnati Children's. Additionally. she is a member of the Disorders of Sex Development interdisciplinary team.

    Education and Training

    MB, BCh: University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, United Kingdom.

    FRACP: Royal Australasian College of Physicians, New Zealand.

    Residency: Auckland Children's Hospital and Dunedin Hospital, New Zealand; Cincinnati Children's, Cincinnati, OH.

    Fellowship: Pediatric Endocrinology, Cincinnati Children's, Cincinnati, OH.

    Certification: General Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics, 2002; Pediatric Endocrinology, American Board of Pediatrics, 2003; Pediatrics, Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, 1995.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Gynecology

    A photo of Lesley Breech.

    Lesley L. Breech, MD
    Division Director, Division of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology

    gynecology@cchmc.org

    Lesley L. Breech, MD

    Division Director, Division of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology

    Associate Professor, UC Department of Surgery

    UC Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Female genital anomalies; young women with bleeding disorders; reproductive outcomes after treatment for cancer

    Research Interests

    Outcomes after surgical treatment of genital anomalies; management of young women with bleeding disorders

    Biography

    Lesley Breech, MD, is specially trained in pelvic reconstruction and other medical and surgical management of genital anomalies. She has nearly 9 years’ experience providing surgical and medical gynecology at Emory University and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

    Dr. Breech has a special interest in the care of girls and young women with abnormalities of development of the reproductive organs. In 2004, Dr. Breech joined the multidisciplinary care provided by the Center for Pediatric Pelvic and Genitourinary Reconstruction at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She also provides gynecologic care for young women with bleeding disorders, polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, and other gynecologic concerns of pediatric and adolescent females. 

    Education and Training

    MD: Ohio State University Columbus, OH, 1994.

    Residency: Ob / Gyn, Washington University, St Louis, MO, 1998.

    Fellowship: Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology, Washington University, St Louis Children's Hospital, St Louis, MO, 2000.

    Certification: American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2000.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Human Genetics

    A photo of Robert J. Hopkin.

    Robert J. Hopkin, MD
    Co-Director, 22Q-VCFS Center

    513-636-4760

    rob.hopkin@cchmc.org

    Robert J. Hopkin, MD

    Co-Director, 22Q-VCFS Center

    Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-4760

    Fax: 513-636-7297

    Email: rob.hopkin@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Fabry disease and other lysosomal storage diseases; craniofacial genetics; 22q11 deletion; clinical intervention for genetic disease; neurofibromatosis; dysmorphology; prenatal diagnosis of genetic syndromes

    Research Interests

    Fabry disease; Robin sequence; 22q11 deletion; neurofibromatosis; craniofacial genetics; chromosomal anomalies

    Biography

    Robert J. Hopkin, MD, is an associate professor of clinical pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Hopkin graduated from the University of Nevada Medical School. He completed residency and chief residency in pediatrics at the Phoenix Children's Hospital, Maricopa Medical Center Combined Residency Program. His training in medical genetics was completed at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

    The majority of Dr. Hopkin's time is spent in caring for patients with genetic disorders. He participates in clinics from Fetal Care to Adult Genetics. He is also actively involved in education of health care providers regarding the application of genetics for patient care. Dr Hopkin has participated in a number of clinical trials and is a member of American College of Medical Genetics Committee on Therapeutics. He has participated in natural history studies on Fabry disease, Pompe disease, velocardiofacial syndrome, Pierre Robin sequence, Neurofibromatosis type I, and several other genetic conditions. The unifying principle in his research interests is application of scientific knowledge to improve outcomes for patients afflicted with genetic disorders.

    Education and Training

    MD: University of Nevada Medical School, Reno, NV, 1990.

    Residency: Phoenix Children's Hospital, Manicopa Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ, 1993; Phoenix Children's Hospital, Manicopa Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ, 1994.

    Fellowship: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 1997.

    Certification: Pediatrics, 1993; Clinical Genetics, 1996.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications
    No photo available

    Jodie R. Johnson, LGC
    Genetic Counselor II, Division of Human Genetics

    513-803-1376

    jodie.johnson@cchmc.org


    A photo of Howard Saal.

    Howard M. Saal, MD, FACMG
    Director, Clinical Genetics

    513-636-2438

    howard.saal@cchmc.org

    Howard M. Saal, MD, FACMG

    Director, Clinical Genetics

    Director, Cytogenetics Laboratory

    Co-Director, 22Q-VCFS Center

    Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-2438

    Fax: 513-636-7297

    Email: howard.saal@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Craniofacial disorders, community genetics, growth disorders, 22Q-VCFS

    Research Interests

    Genetic etiologies and natural histories of craniofacial disorders and new syndrome delineation

    Biography

    Howard M. Saal, MD, a highly respected clinical geneticist and dysmorphologist, is the head of the section of Clinical Genetics in the Division of Human Genetics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. In addition to being board certified in clinical genetics and pediatrics, Dr. Saal is a board certified cytogeneticist.

    Early in his career, he was the Director of the Cytogenetics Laboratory at the University of Connecticut Health Center, where he was also the associate director of the Craniofacial Disorders Team.

    Dr. Saal is interested in the genetic causes of craniofacial disorders, especially cleft lip and cleft palate. He also has a significant interest in the natural history of genetic conditions, and has authored or co-authored numerous publications centering on the natural history and management of various genetic conditions, with special attention to neurofibromatosis, cleft lip, cleft palate, Pierre Robin sequence and 22Q-VCFS.

    After leaving Connecticut, Dr. Saal went to Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC, where he was the Vice-Chairman of the Department of Medical Genetics and co-director of the Craniofacial Center. His clinical activities included establishment of the Neurofibromatosis Clinic, the Biochemical Genetics Clinic, and the multidisciplinary Skeletal Dysplasia Clinic with his colleagues at Children's National Medical Center. His interest in community activities led to his being named to the Health Professionals Advisory Committee and later to the Board of Directors of the National Capital Area March of Dimes.

    Dr. Saal joined the staff at Cincinnati Children's in 1993 as the Head of Clinical Genetics. He has been an active participant in numerous clinical settings and has established the Hereditary Cancer Program, a unique local resource for families with familial and inherited cancers.

    Dr. Saal is involved in community activities and has established urban genetics outreach clinics at three sites in Hamilton County. He has also been appointed as acting director of the Craniofacial Center at Cincinnati Children's, where he continues to cultivate his interests in the care of children with craniofacial disorders.

    Education and Training

    MD: Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, 1975-1979.

    Internship: University of Connecticut Integrated Program in Pediatrics, Farmington, CT, 1979-1980.

    Residency: University of Connecticut Integrated Program in Pediatrics, Farmington, CT, 1980-1982.

    Fellowship: University of Washington School of Medicine Division of Medical Genetics, Seattle, WA, 1982-1984.

    Certification: American Board of Medical Genetics in Cytogenetics and Clinical Genetics, 1984; American Board of Pediatrics, 1985.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Urology

    A photo of William Robert DeFoor, Jr., MD.

    William Robert DeFoor Jr., MD, MPH
    Director, Clinical Research

    513-636-4975

    bob.defoor@cchmc.org

    William R. DeFoor Jr., MD, MPH

    Director, Clinical Research

    Associate Professor, UC Department of Surgery

    Phone: 513-636-4975

    Fax: 513-636-6753

    Email: bob.defoor@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Complex genitourinary reconstruction; clinical outcomes research; clinical trials;  urolithiasis; uro-oncology; laparoscopic-assisted; robotic-assisted surgery; vesicoureteral reflux

    Research Interests

    Modulation of apoptosis in cryptorchidism (undescended testes) with anti-oxidant pharmacotherapy; pediatric urologic surgical outcomes analysis using an evidence based medicine approach 

    Education and Training

    BS: Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, 1991.

    Fulbright Fellowship: Universite' Rene' Descartes, Paris, France, 1992.

    MD: University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 1996.

    Residency: Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, 2001.

    Fellowship: Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, OH, 2003.

    MPH: Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, School of Public Health, 2005.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications
    A photo of Pramod Reddy, MD.

    Pramod P. Reddy, MD
    Director, Division of Pediatric Urology

    513-636-4975

    Pramod P. Reddy, MD

    Director, Division of Pediatric Urology

    Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-4975

    Fax: 513-636-6753

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Kidney stones; ESWL; genitourinary surgery; clinical trials

    Research Interests

    Bladder organogenesis; tissue engineering of bladder matrix

    Biography

    Pramod P. Reddy, MD, is a pediatric and fetal urologist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the Cincinnati Fetal Center. His special interests include kidney stones; ESWL; genitourinary surgery; clinical trials.

    Education and Training

    MBBS: Nagarjuna University, Guntur, India 1990.

    Residency: Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY.

    Residency: Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY.

    Fellowship: The Hospital For Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada.

    Certification: American Board of Urology 2001.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    A photo of Brian VanderBrink.

    Brian A. VanderBrink, MD
    Urologist, Division of Urology

    513-636-4975

    brian.vanderbrink@cchmc.org

    Brian A. Vanderbrink, MD

    Urologist, Division of Urology

    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-4975

    Email: brian.vanderbrink@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Reconstructive lower urinary tract surgery; neurogenic bladder; spina bifida

    Biography

    Dr. VanderBrink's career goal is to help children with congenital conditions that affect the urinary tract to achieve the best possible outcomes. This can mean different things to different families and he takes pride in listening to each individual family’s concerns while formulating a treatment plan. His main goals are to preserve kidney function, work towards urinary control and provide opportunities to become independent for their chronic condition.

    Cincinnati Children’s is uniquely poised to be a global leader in the field of urology given its national and international prominence along with the wealth of institutional resources available. Dr. VanderBrink is proud to work with excellent clinical colleagues who share the same mission of delivering high-quality urologic care to the children they serve. He is committed to actively researching our outcomes during this process in order to improve them.

    Education and Training

    MD: Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, 2003.

    Residency: North Shore LIJ Health System, New Hyde Park, NY, 2008.

    Fellowship: James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, IN, 2010.

    Certification: American Board of Urology, 2012.

    Publications

    DSD Staff

    A photo of Myra Overton.

    Myra E. Overton, MSW, LISW-S
    Social Worker, Division of Social Services

    513-636-4043

    Myra.Overton@cchmc.org