Meet Our Team

We are compassionate. Our staff offers you their experience in a very relaxed atmosphere. We understand infertility is stressful and we strive to put you at ease from the moment you walk in to our facilities.

  • Kutluk Oktay
  • Kirsten Acosta
  • Shandy Jeffers
  • Delicia McCalla
  • Exenia Pirrone
  • Gina Triggs

Dr. Kutluk Oktay

 

Kutluk “Lucas” Oktay, MD, PhD, FACOG is Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Medicine, Pathology, and Cell Biology & Anatomy, Director, Division of Reproductive Medicine & Institute for Fertility Preservation at New York Medical College (NYMC). Dr. Oktay   completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Connecticut Health Science Center in Farmington, CT, followed by a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, TX.  He was subsequently awarded to be an American College of OBGYN (ACOG)/Royal College of OBGYN (RCOG) Exchange Fellow in the Department of Reproductive Biology, Obstetrics & Gynecology at Leeds University School of Medicine/Leeds General Infirmary in the UK. Dr. Oktay subsequently obtained a Doctor of Health Sciences degree (PhD) from the University of Ghent, Belgium.


Dr. Oktay’s professional life has been dedicated to the science of fertility preservation and infertility treatments.   As a clinician-scientist, he is a leading expert in fertility preservation, as well as in ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization. He developed and performed the world’s first ovarian transplantation procedures and pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients. In addition, he described the first oocyte freezing protocols in young pubertal girls with Turner syndrome and other medical conditions.  He has championed fertility preservation in children of all ages. Dr. Oktay conducted key research on ovarian follicle and embryo development, as well as on controlled ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization. Following his first description of the relationship between BRCA mutations and low ovarian reserve, his work led him to discover a key role for DNA repair efficiency in oocyte aging.

Dr. Oktay was invited to serve on the President’s Cancer Panel as an expert on fertility issues of cancer patients and fertility preservation. In attestation to his recognition as a leading clinician-scientist in infertility field, he has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health to study various aspects of ovarian biology and fertility preservation. Furthermore, he serves as the Co-chair of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Committee for Fertility Preservation Guideline for People with Cancer since 2005. Dr. Oktay founded and was elected as the first President of the Fertility Preservation Special Interest Group at American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the largest within the society. He also served as the Guidelines Committee Chair at Turner Syndrome Foundation, which produced the first guidelines document on fertility preservation for young females with Turner Syndrome.

Dr. Oktay received many prestigious awards both from professional and patient organizations. He was named among the top Doctors in America by Castle and Connolly numerous times, received innovator award from Resolve, and the Champions of Hope award from Fertile Hope. He has been invited to endowed lectures in top standing institutions and major academic conferences in the US and around the world in infertility, cancer, pediatric endocrinology, obstetrics & gynecology, genetics, aging, and other fields.

In 2008, after a 10 year career at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Dr. Oktay transitioned to NYMC, and subsequently founded the Innovation Institute  for Fertility Preservation and IVF (IFP). In addition to his roles at NYMC as Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Director of Division of Reproductive Medicine & Infertility, Dr. Oktay is also the Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at NYMC, and has also served a consultant physician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Consultant for Cancer and Allied Diseases at Memorial Hospital and currently continues his active collaborations with renown cancer specialists at MSKCC.
 
A significant contributor to the peer-reviewed literature, Dr. Oktay has published extensively in leading medical journals, such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Science Translational Medicine, JAMA, JAMA Oncology, and Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Kirsten Acosta, BS, Office Coordinator: Kirsten is a Biology Major. She is very hardworking, pays great attention to detail and very pleasant to work with. You are in safe hands with her. Kirsten wants to go to Medical School one day because she immensely enjoys helping patients.

Shandy Jeffers: All personality, warm and smart Shandy is our Nurse Coordinator. What a personable individual. She is sharp, on the task and would not drop the ball. She will be your best buddy and ally.

Delicia McCalla, Financial Coordinator: Delicia has been in billing and finance for 10 years. She is extremely competent and will skillfully handle your financial and insurance concerns. She is very pleasant to interact with, efficient and prompt. Approaching perfection (nobody is perfect but she is close to it), you will find it delightful to work with her.

Exenia Pirrone, Certified Ultrasound Technician: Exenia has 20 years experience in performing pelvic ultrasounds and her experience is unparalleled. She is kind and soft spoken. You may see her doing your ultrasounds when Dr. Oktay is tied up doing other things (surgery, egg retrievals, embryo transfer, teaching etc.).

Gina Triggs, Academic Affairs and Public Relations: Gina is in charge of the administrative responsibilities for all clinical trials and research studies. She also handles media inquires. She is based at New York Medical College, where Professor Oktay runs his research laboratory and does his teaching. She is a gem and will be happy to talk to you about our research initiatives, new media releases and breaking news.

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