About RGI

Meet Our Staff

RGI Group


Genetic Counseling Team

  • Agnes S. Machaj, MSC, LCGC

    Genetic Counseling Manager

    Agnes is a graduate of the Genetic Counseling program at Case Western University, Cleveland. Previously, 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 has provided ART related genetic counseling in both the clinical and laboratory setting. Savanie pursued her undergraduate education at Queens University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with Honors. 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 is an active member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. She is an outdoor enthusiast with an keen interest in travel.

  • Cara Snyder, MS, LCGC

    Genetic Counselor

    Cara has nearly 20 years of experience providing genetic counseling for a variety of different indications, in a variety of clinical settings. 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. In her free time, Cara enjoys running, teaching boot camp and yoga classes, and spending time with her husband and two daughters.

  • Rachel Pothast, MS, CGC

    Genetic Counselor

    Rachel received a Bachelorís Degree in Biology from the University of Utah and then received 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. Rachel is an active faculty member with the NUGPGC and participates in several aspects of the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling. In her free time she enjoys reading, travelling and spending time with her husband and two sons.

  • Diana Alzate, BS

    Coordinator / Genetic Counseling Assistant

    Diana Alzate completed her undergraduate education at Northeastern Illinois University, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Biology with honors. She is planning to pursue graduate studies in Genetic Counseling. Diana enjoys playing the acoustic guitar in her free time.

  • Veronica Gorbach

    Veronica Gorbach completed her undergraduate studies at the National University of Ukraine, where she was awarded honors for her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance. Veronica has over 25 years of experience working directly with diverse groups and clients. Outside of RGI, Veronica enjoys traveling, the Art Institute, Ravinia concerts, sports and all outdoor activities.

  • Elizabeth Bonnema, BS

    Elizabeth Bonnema completed her undergraduate studies at University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Genetics, Cell Biology and Development. She is planning to pursue graduate studies in Genetic Counseling. Outside of RGI, Elizabeth enjoys hiking and playing with her dog!

  • Abigail Yesso, MS

    Abigail Yesso completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Public Health and Tropical Medicine and her Masters of Science in Genetics and Genomics. She is planning to pursue graduate studies in Genetic Counseling. Outside of RGI, Abigail enjoys perusing used bookstores and exploring new cuisines!



IVF Team

  • Svetlana Lerner, MSc

    IVF Lab Supervisor

    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.

    Manager of PGT micromanipulation at RGI, Senior Embryologist

    Yuri Ikevitch has Ph.D. Diploma 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. For many years Yuri used to travel around the world and US providing embryo biopsy service for RGI's collaborating centers. He mastered in ICSI, polar body removal, day 3 blastomere biopsy, laser assisted Day 5-6 trophectoderm biopsy. He is an author of unique Day 4 human embryo biopsy and Day 5 early blastocyst trophectoderm biopsy techniques without laser. Yuri also used to perform conversion of interphase blastomere nuclei into metaphase for human translocation diagnosis. For twenty years Yuri trained hundreds of IVF technicians to different human embryo biopsy approaches.

  • Nataliya Ilkevitch, MSc

    Senior embryologist

    Nataliya has earned the qualification of Physician, Hygienist-Epidemiologist in Europe in 1984. She then completed a fellowship program in Molecular and Physical-Chemical Biology. In 1996, Nataliya began her career at IVF and PGD centers in Europe as a traveling embryologist. In 1998, she relocated and joined RGI in Chicago. In addition to her duties as an embryologist, Nataliya also partook in human embryonic stem cells research projects. Nataliya's work has been published in Reproductive BioMedicine Online as well as Fertility and Sterility. She is a regular attendant of the Annual Clinical Embryologists Summit Conference.

  • Nathan Katz, PhD, ELD (ABB)

    Dr Katz has 25 years' experience in field of assisted reproductive medicine and clinical embryology. He represents generation of pioneers in technologies like single cell micromanipulation, nuclear transfer and preimplantation embryo biopsy. Dr Katz coauthored multiple top notch peer-reviewed publications and dozens of scientific presentations.