Peter K. Gregersen, MD, Principal Investigator
Dr. Gregersen is Head of the Robert S. Boas Center for Genomics and Human Genetics and Professor, Molecular Medicine and Medicine at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He obtained his MD degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1976, followed by fellowship training in rheumatology at the Hospital for Joint Diseases/NYU. Dr. Gregersen’ career has focused on the genetics of autoimmune disorders, but has recently expanded to include investigation of the genetics and biology of endometriosis.
During the 1980’s Dr. Gregersen cloned and sequenced the major HLA class II alleles associated with rheumatoid arthritis and first described the “shared epitope” hypothesis to explain the complex pattern of HLA associations with rheumatoid arthritis. Since this critical discovery, Dr. Gregersen has worked in the area of genetics and led several major international consortia to study the genetics of rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, myasthenia gravis, myositis and other autoimmune disorders. He founded the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium (NARAC) which has made major contributions to identifying risk alleles associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr. Gregersen has spearheaded the development of a robotic biorepository and informatics resources to support these studies, including a large normal control registry (gapregistry.org) with a view toward understanding genotype-phenotype relationships in both normal and disease populations. He also has longstanding interests related to the genetics of absolute pitch and synesthesia, as well as studies of immunological aspects of autism. Endometriosis is a new line of research for Dr. Gregersen’s laboratory, but it is a natural extension of his interest in better understanding basic disease mechanisms involved in immunity and inflammation.
In May 2013, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded Dr. Gregersen the Crafoord prize for his genetic research in rheumatoid arthritis. He has also been honored with the 2007 Klemperer Medal from the New York Academy of Medicine, the 2007 ACR Distinguished Basic Investigator Award, and elected to the Association of American Physicians in 2009.
Christine Metz, PhD
Dr. Metz, is an investigator at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and Professor at the Hofstra-North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. In addition, she is the Director of Research for the Department of OB-GYN at North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center of the Hofstra-North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.
Dr. Metz graduated from Cornell University with BS and MS degrees and she completed her PhD in Immunology/Pathology at New York University. She began her scientific career studying the role of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (or MIF) in numerous inflammatory conditions. In 2001, Dr. Metz established her laboratory at the North Shore-LIJ Research Institute (re-named The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in 2008).
Dr. Metz’s research focuses on inflammation, a complex biological response to infection and injury, in both pregnant and non-pregnant populations. Throughout her career, she has studied numerous conditions that affect women including, rheumatoid arthritis, endometriosis, cardiovascular disease, preeclampsia, and preterm labor. Her work identifying ways to reduce and prevent dysfunctional inflammation has been funded by the American Heart Association, the National Institutes of Health and the NY State Dept of Public Health. Dr. Metz has published over 110 peer-reviewed research papers and book chapters, and has been an inventor or co-inventor on five patents.
Tamer Seckin, MD
Dr. Seckin is a Board Certified gynecologist and laparoscopic surgeon in private practice in New York City, practicing at Lenox Hill Hospital of the North Shore – LIJ Health System. He specializes in treating women with endometriosis. He is an internationally known specialist in minimally invasive advanced (laparoscopic) surgery, and is among a very limited number of gynecologic surgeons in the United States who is exclusively committed to the deep laparoscopic excision of endometriosis.
Dr. Seckin completed his gynecological training at the Children’s Hospital, State University of New York, Buffalo, in 1985. In the early 90’s, his interest in minimally invasive surgery became a passion as he became acquainted with the world renowned laparoscopic pioneer, Dr. Harry Reich. Together with Reich, he established in 1995 a private practice group for the treatment of endometriosis; Advanced Laparoscopic Surgeons of New York.
In 2009, Dr. Seckin founded the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA), the first research and advocacy foundation of its kind organized by a private physician to raise awareness and emphasize the critical value of surgical excision of endometriosis. Under his guidance as Medical Director, the EFA strives to increase disease recognition, provide advocacy, facilitate expert surgical training, and fund landmark endometriosis research.
In 2010, Dr. Seckin organized the first EFA Annual Medical Symposium. Each year this medical conference brings the top surgeons and scientists from around the world together to speak and train the next generation of medical professionals. This same year, Dr. Seckin founded the Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery (FMIGS) in affiliation with the AAGL/SRS at North Shore/LIJ-Lenox Hill Hospital, where he is also the Clinical Instructor for Obstetrics & Gynecology. He has written book chapters and articles on both subjects and he is currently a contributing editor for Gynecological Surgery.
Dr. Seckin is the treasurer and an executive committee member of the International Society of Gynecological Endoscopy (ISGE). He is also a member of the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the European Society of Reproductive Endocrinology, the Society of Laparoscopic Surgeons, The American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopy, The American Fertility Society, The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, The Society of Reproductive Surgeons, The New York Gynecological Society and The Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.
Maya Tevlin, PhD
Before joining the Center of Genomics and Human Genetics, to work on the ROSE study, Dr. Tevlin was a Researcher in the Laboratory of Developmental Genetics at the Rockefeller University. She received her PhD in Genetics and Immunology at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel in 2004, and her Postdoctoral Degree at the Rockefeller University in 2009. Dr. Tevlin is a recipient of several scientific fellowships and awards, including The Druckenmiller Fellowship from the New York Stem Cell Foundation. Her work has been published in the leading scientific journals such as Science, Nature and Nature Immunology.
Mary Keogh, RN, MSN, ANP
Mary is the manager of the Feinstein Institute’s Tissue Donation Program, which oversees the ROSE study. She began her career as a critical care nurse. Over the past 15 years she has held several nursing roles in medical research, and joined the North Shore -LIJ Health System in 2005 to manage the TDP. She has an undergraduate degree in Nursing from Binghamton University and a Masters in Nursing from Columbia University.
Margaret DeFranco, RN
Margaret received her BS in Biology from the Rochester Institute of Technology and worked in cell research at the start of her career. She went on to receive her BS in Nursing from CUNY-Lehman College in 1986. Margaret worked in varied nursing positions in the North Shore-LIJ Health System, including telemetry and anesthesia pain management, before joining the ROSE study as a Research Nurse Coordinator.
Michael is the Manager of the Biorepository at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. He is responsible for the thousands of samples that are being managed and maintained within the Biorepository. His role includes developing and maintaining the sample processing protocols and the Biorepository SOPs. With more than 10 years of experience, Michael is highly skilled at biological sample processing and management for research. He has aided investigators process, track, store and distribute various samples for over 50 different research studies. He also helps investigators choose the best collection and storage methods for their projects. Michael is HIPPA and CITY trained and certified. He is dedicated to making sure that all samples are handled properly and safely to ensure good quality research specimens.
Brandon Blau, Research Assistant
Brandon received his A.B. in Chemistry from Princeton University in 2014 and is working on the ROSE study as a Research Assistant. Brandon is a familiar face in the lab, having spent several summers since high school studying the genetic basis of systemic lupus erythematosus. Brandon’s role within the ROSE study involves investigating whether menstrual flow at the cellular level differs between women with endometriosis and unaffected women.
Anna recently received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Union College and joined the ROSE study as an Assistant Research Coordinator after graduation.