Meet Our Team

Reproductive Genetic Innovations was built by some of the leading experts in the industry, with over 100 years of combined experience in reproductive genetics on our executive board alone.

 

RGI’s clinical staff consists of experienced board-certified physicians and genetic counselors who provide exceptional care for each and every patient. Our staff is available for counseling in regards to PGT procedures and the interpretation of genetic results to guide patients and families throughout the IVF and PGT process. 

We employ a growing staff of superb scientists and researchers. We continue to pride ourselves in providing a personal touch for every case.

Leadership & Directors

Genetic Counseling Team

IVF Lab Team

Preimplantation Molecular Genetics Lab

Svetlana Rechitsky, PhD

President and Lab Director
Svetlana Rechitsky, PhD

Dr. Rechitsky is a graduate of Kharkov University’s Genetics Faculty and received her PhD in experimental molecular embryology from the Second Moscow Medical Institute in 1986. She moved to the Reproductive Genetics Institute in 1989, where she headed the DNA laboratory which performed the largest Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Monogenic/Single Gene Defects (PGT-M) series for single gene disorders, with PGT-M design for the majority of them developed for the first time. She has published more than 70 papers on PGT-M, including a key editorship to the Atlas of Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Monogenic/Single Gene Defects, most recently Practical Preimplantation Genetic Testing (2020).

In 2010, she took over as the President of Reproductive Genetic Innovations and continues to be in that position today. Dr. Rechitsky holds a faculty member position at Florida International University, is the current vice-chair of the PGT-M Special Interest Group at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and has sat as president of the Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis International Society. She speaks globally on PGT and holds positions in International Federation of Fertility Societies.

Anver Kuliev, MD, PhD

Research Director
Anver Kuliev, MD, PhD

Dr. Kuliev received his PhD in Clinical Cytogenetics in 1969. Since 1979, he has headed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Hereditary Diseases Program in Geneva, where he developed the community-based programs for the prevention of genetic disorders and early approaches for prenatal diagnosis. He moved to Reproductive Genetics Institute in 1990, where he headed the WHO Collaborating Center for Prevention of Genetic Disorders, and scientific research in prenatal and preimplantation genetics. He serves as Research Director for Reproductive Genetic Innovations. He is the author of 200 papers, including 11 books in the above areas, 5 in Preimplantation Genetics. Currently, Dr. Kuliev is Executive Director of the Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis International Society and serves as Research Director for Reproductive Genetic Innovations.

Joe Leigh Simpson, MD, FACMG, FACOG

FRCOG
Joe Leigh Simpson, MD, FACMG, FACOG

Dr. Simpson, MD, FACOG, FACMG is the clinical director of RGI’s PGT-M program. He received his undergraduate and medical education at Duke University (M.D., 1968), and postgraduate training in obstetrics and genetics at Cornell University Medical College. He is Past President of the Preimplantation Genetic Testing International Society and Past President of the American Society Reproductive Medicine. He is President Elect of International Federation Fertility Society. Prior academic positions have included Northwestern University, (Professor and Head, Section of Human Genetics), University of Tennessee Memphis, (Chairman OB/GYN), Baylor College of Medicine, (Chairman, OB/GYN) and Florida International University (Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs). He is certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics as well as the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Simpson has played leadership roles in many other professional organizations. These include: President of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, President of the International Society of Prenatal Diagnosis, President of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation and President of the American College of Medical Genetics, President of the International Federation of Fertility Societies. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine (IOM).

Dr. Simpson has written 15 major books and over 800 articles and chapters. He speaks globally. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and other organizations. He remains active in many areas of prenatal genetic diagnosis and reproductive genetics.

Lee P. Shulman, MD, FACMG, FACOG

Medical Director
Lee P. Shulman, MD, FACMG, FACOG

Dr. Shulman, MD is the Anna Ross Lapham Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Chief of the Division of Reproductive Genetics at the Feinberg School of Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, as well as the American College of Medical Genetics, being board certified by both American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and American Board of Medical Genetics. and a Founding Member of the Society of Family Planning. Dr. Shulman graduated from Cornell University as well as Cornell University Medical College. He completed residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at North Shore University Hospital – Cornell University Medical College followed by a fellowship in Reproductive Genetics at the University of Tennessee, Memphis. He joined the Ob/Gyn faculty of the University of Tennessee, Memphis, becoming the Director of Reproductive Genetics in 1994. In 1999 he relocated to the University of Illinois at Chicago where he served as Deputy Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Director of the Divisions of Reproductive Genetics and Ambulatory Care Services and as Medical Director of the Center of Excellence in Women’s Health. In…..he joined the faculty of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine as Head of Clinical Genetics in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Shulman is a member of numerous regional, national and international organizations that pertain to the health and care of women. He currently serves as the Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. He was president of the Central Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He has….publications and speaks frequently worldwide.His work has been recognized regionally and nationally. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Yearbook of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine, is a Contributing Editor for The Journal of Reproductive Medicine, andExecutive Editor of the Journal of Gynecologic Surgery. He also serves on the editorial boards of Contraception, Prenatal Diagnosis, Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, Menopause, and as a peer-reviewer for 31 journals. His major research interests are in reproductive and cancer genetics.

Andrew F. Wagner, MD, FACMG, FACOG

(Medical Director)
Andrew F. Wagner, MD, FACMG, FACOG

Dr. Wagner completed his undergraduate and medical school education at the University of Wisconsin (MD-1999). He then pursued an obstetrics and gynecology residency at Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Following clinical interest and undergraduate research experience, he took a fellowship in Clinical Genetics at Magee-Womens Hospital/University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Wagner then joined the OB/GYN faculty at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center where he was involved in clinical practice, research, and teaching in reproductive genetics to medical students, genetic counseling students, and residents. In 2016, he joined the faculty at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in the division of clinical genetics of the department of obstetrics and gynecology. He also serves as co-medical director at Insight Medical Genetics in Chicago. Dr. Wagner is board certified by both the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Agnes S. Machaj, MSC, LCGC

Genetic Counseling Manager
Agnes S. Machaj, MSC, LCGC

Agnes is a graduate of the Genetic Counseling program at Case Western University, Cleveland. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology. She is an active member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors.

Savanie Maithripala, MSc, LCGC

Genetic Counselor
Savanie Maithripala, MSc, LCGC

Savanie has provided ART related genetic counseling in both the clinical and laboratory setting. Savanie pursued her undergraduate education at Queens University (Canada), where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She earned a Master of Science in Genetic Counseling at the University of British Columbia where she pursued her thesis work in PGT-SR. Savanie is a Board certified and licensed genetic counselor and an active member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors.

Cara Snyder, MS, LCGC

Genetic Counselor
Cara Snyder, MS, LCGC

Cara pursued her undergraduate education at the University of Missouri, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Psychology and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a Master of Science in Genetic Counseling at the University of California at Berkeley in 1999. Cara became a diplomat of the American Board of Genetic Counseling in 2002 and has been an active member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors since 1997. Cara has nearly 20 years of experience providing genetic counseling for a variety of different indications, in a variety of clinical settings

Rachel Pothast, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor
Rachel Pothast, MS, CGC

Rachel received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of Utah and her Master of Science in Genetic Counseling from the Northwestern University Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling (NUGPGC) in 1999. She became a diplomat of the American Board of Genetic Counseling in 2002. Rachel has been a practicing genetic counselor specializing in reproductive genetics for almost 20 years. She is an active faculty member with the NUGPGC and participates in the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling.

Svetlana Lerner, MSc

IVF Lab Supervisor
Svetlana Lerner, MSc

Svetlana Lerner has a Master’s degree in Biology and Genetics. As the supervising lab embryologist, Svetlana has published several scientific papers in the IVF field since she joined RGI in 1996. The IVF lab is accredited by CAP and is in compliance with CLIA and FDA requirements. It has all the latest equipment and the ability to utilize the most innovative methods that are used in IVF today.

Yuri Ilkevitch, Ph.D.

Director of micromanipulation at RGI, Senior Embryologist

Dr. Ilkevitch received his PhD in Molecular Genetics and Medical Virology. He has more than 20 years of experience in clinical IVF and human embryo biopsy for aneuploidy and single gene disorders genetic testing. Yuri has traveled around the world and US providing embryo biopsy service for RGI’s collaborating centers. This includes ICSI, polar body removal, day 3 blastomere biopsy, laser assisted Day 5-6 trophectoderm biopsy.

He developed a unique Day 4 human embryo biopsy and Day 5 early blastocyst trophectoderm biopsy techniques without laser. He also can perform conversion of interphase blastomere nuclei into metaphase for human translocation diagnosis. For over twenty years Yuri has trained hundreds of IVF technicians to the different human embryo biopsy approaches.

Tatiana Pakhalchuck, MS

Lab supervisor
Tatiana Pakhalchuck, MS

Tatiana holds a Master of Science in Biology from Byelorussian State University, Minsk, Belarus-Department of Microbiology and Genetics.

Tatiana worked as a Scientist in the Institute for Inherited Diseases in Minsk, Belarus, Molecular genetics department where she researched the influence of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe on a number of genetic disorders in identifying the most common mutations leading to CAH, FX, CF, and PKU in the national population

Tatiana joined RGI’s preimplantation genetic testing team in 2007.

Aside from being the PGT Laboratory supervisor, she has participated in collaborative preimplantation genetics programs in Cyprus and Italy

She has numerous publications in both Russian and English languages.