Two New Pediatrics Division Directors at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell

Dr. Eduardo Perelstein named to lead pediatric nephrology; Dr. Christopher Cunniff to lead medical genetics

May 21, 2014


NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center has appointed two new division directors at its Phyllis and David Komansky Center for Children's Health. Dr. Eduardo Perelstein has been named director of the division of pediatric nephrology, and Dr. Christopher Cunniff has been named the new director of medical genetics. Both also hold faculty appointments at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Eduardo Perelstein

Dr. Eduardo Perelstein is the new director of the division of pediatric nephrology as of April 1. Dr. Perelstein is also an associate professor of clinical pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Perelstein, who joined NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell in 1990, brings more than 35 years of clinical and administrative experience to his new position. He is an expert in the diagnosis and management of kidney diseases in children, including end-stage kidney disease requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation. He also cares for children with high blood pressure as well as fluid and electrolyte disorders. In the past, he has served as a consultant providing clinical pediatric nephrology services at a number of hospitals throughout New York City. He is a leader and expert on quality and safety issues. In the department of pediatrics, he chairs committees charged with medication safety and other safety issues.

Board certified in pediatrics and pediatric nephrology, Dr. Perelstein has authored numerous publications for peer-reviewed journals such as Hypertension, the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology and Pediatric Nephrology.

Dr. Perelstein received his medical degree at the University of Buenos Aires Faculty of Medicine in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he also completed his residency in pediatrics. He continued his training in pediatric nephrology at Saint Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, where he completed a one-year clinical fellowship, and at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he completed two additional years of fellowship training. In 2009, he received his Master’s in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.

"We have great confidence in his abilities," said Dr. Gerald Loughlin, pediatrician-in-chief at the Komansky Center and Nancy C. Paduano Professor and Chairman of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College. "Dr. Perelstein will not only maintain the current high-quality program, but also will expand clinical services."

Dr. Christopher Cunniff

Dr. Christopher Cunniff has been named director of the division of medical genetics. He assumed his new role in May, and is also professor of pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Cunniff brings 25 years of experience in pediatrics and genetics to the Komansky Center, where he will oversee an individualized array of genetic services including preconception and prenatal evaluations, medical genetic evaluation and testing for pediatric patients and continuity of care for patients with medical conditions.

Prior to joining NewYork-Presbyterian, Dr. Cunniff served as chief of the section of medical and molecular genetics at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, in addition to directing the university’s molecular genetics pathology fellowship and faculty instructional development program. He also served as co-medical director of the Children’s Clinics for Rehabilitative Services in Tucson, Arizona. He has held various academic appointments over his career, most recently as a full professor of pediatrics, with joint appointments in pathology, public health and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

Board certified in pediatrics and medical genetics, Dr. Cunniff has authored more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and review articles. He is a member of the American Society for Human Genetics, a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a founding fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics. He has been a principal investigator for grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to perform surveillance for muscular dystrophy, fetal alcohol syndrome, autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disability.

Dr. Cunniff has served as a member of the board of directors and as secretary of the American College of Medical Genetics, and as president of the American Board of Medical Genetics. From 1993 to 2003, he served as chair of the Committee on Genetics of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

After receiving his medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine, Dr. Cunniff completed an internship and residency in pediatrics at the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont. He then completed a fellowship in dysmorphology and clinical genetics at the University of California, San Diego, before joining the faculty of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

"We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Cunniff to the Komansky Center and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell," said Dr. Gerald Loughlin. "His work in pediatric genetics is extremely innovative, and his clinical abilities will be a great asset to our patients and their families."

NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center

NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, located in New York City, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medical College, the medical school of Cornell University. NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine, and is committed to excellence in patient care, education, research and community service. Weill Cornell physician-scientists have been responsible for many medical advances — including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer; the synthesis of penicillin; the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S.; the first clinical trial for gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease; the first indication of bone marrow’s critical role in tumor growth; and, most recently, the world’s first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/Westchester Division, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital, and NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. Weill Cornell Medical College is the first U.S. medical college to offer a medical degree overseas and maintains a strong global presence in Austria, Brazil, Haiti, Tanzania, Turkey and Qatar. For more information, visit Weill Cornell Medical College.

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