Meet Our Directors!

"Lighting the Way"
"Lighting the Way"

Our team is comprised of specialists matched with your specific needs.  

The SEED Center of Atlanta does not provide the medical care, but rather the coordination of care, support services, and research.  We at the Center recognize the overwhelming position as parents that you may find yourself in.  Our mission is to make the process as easy on you as possible!


We are lucky to have more than 20 inspiring and accomplished physicians participating in The SEED Center of Atlanta, Inc.  We are equally as fortunate to have several of these outstanding physicians serving as Directors of the Center.  Meet our Directors below and see why we can honestly say that we are "Rooted in Excellence"!



Seth Marcus, MD

Medical Director 

Dr. Seth Marcus, an Atlanta native, received both his Bachelor of Science and Doctorate of Medicine at Tufts University where he graduated as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He completed his Pediatric residency at Emory University and his fellowship in Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Children’s Memorial Hospital of Northwestern University. During his fellowship at Northwestern University, Dr. Marcus also earned a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation.

Dr. Marcus joined Children’s Center for Digestive Healthcare in 2008. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and the American Gastroenterological Association. He has special interests in a variety of pediatric gastrointestinal disorders and has been a principal investigator in research studying Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Dr. Marcus has a particular interest in Eosinophilic Disease and is thrilled to be the Medical Director of the SEED Center. Dr. Marcus enjoys traveling, playing tennis and spending time with his wife and two daughters.


Benjamin Gold, MD

Director of Research

Prior to joining CCDHC, Dr. Gold had an outstanding academic career at Emory University where he had been a Marcus Chair of Pediatric Gastroenterology, a tenured Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology and the Director of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.  Dr. Gold was also Chief of Gastroenterology Service and Medical Director of the Gastrointestinal Diagnostics and Endoscopy Laboratory of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, at the Egleston hospital campus. 


Dr. Gold received his medical degree from The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC, in 1987.  He completed an internship and a residency in Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, followed by a fellowship in Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada.  He completed his research fellowship at the Research Institute, Hospital for Sick Children as a Medical Research Council of Canada Research Fellow. 


Since arriving in Atlanta at Emory and the CDC in 1993, Dr. Gold vigorously pursued his research interests in H. pylori-associated gastroduodenal disease, particularly as it pertains to the pediatric population.  He was actively involved in NIH- funded studies of the impact, transmission, and epidemiology of H. pylori in children living in the US, as well as in other countries and the impact of this gastric pathogen in underserved populations in the world (Bolivia, Guatemala, Tanzania).  Dr. Gold is a national leader in the pursuit of critical questions regarding the epidemiology and pathobiology of acid-related diseases in children, in particular, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).  Dr. Gold continues to advance our understanding of pediatric GERD by undertaking and spearheading a number of multicenter, multinational, clinical, and epidemiological trials in children.  He is a co-investigator of a national pediatric inflammatory bowel disease consortium, and he is working closely with the CDC to determine infectious etiologies of IBD.


Dr. Gold is married to his beautiful wife Wanda for over 23 years.  He has two accomplished, talented children, Christopher who is attending Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and, Bryana, an accomplished soccer player with national and international experience, who attends and plays soccer for Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.


Jeffrey Lewis, MD

Director of Research

Dr. Jeffery Lewis has been a pediatric gastroenterologist since 1995.  He completed fellowship training in gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital.  His residency in pediatrics was here in Atlanta at Emory and he graduated from medical school at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC.  He has served as chief of the GI service at Scottish Rite and has had leadership positions with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the national society for pediatric gastroenterology, NASPGHAN.   He has practiced in Atlanta since 1996.  He has been research director at the Children’s Center for Digestive Health Care – GI Care for Kids – for several years.  In this position he has participated in a number of key research studies on eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE).  These studies included clinical trials with antibodies to IL-5 that block eosinophils from leaving the bone marrow, studies on swallowed steroids, developing tools to measure the severity of EoE, and studies looking at the natural history of EoE over time.  He attended “FIGERS” – the first international meeting devoted exclusively to EoE research and clinical care and has presented research on EoE at digestive Disease Week (yes, there is a digestive disease week once a year).  Along with Dr. Gold he will be serving as research advisor/director to the SEED center.  He has served on the board of other nonprofit, pediatric GI foundations including the Georgia Celiac Foundation which he cofounded and Georgia ROCK – a support group for children with celiac and gluten sensitivity.


Luqman Seidu, MD

Director of Allergy

Dr. Luqman Seidu served as faculty in the Department of Allergy/Immunology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders (CCED) prior to starting his own practice in Atlanta at Georgia Allergy, Immunology and Asthma. His responsibilities at that time included instruction of residents and fellows at the institution as well diagnosing and managing both adult and pediatric patients with eosinophilic disorders, food allergies, asthma, eczema, immune dysregulation and other disorders. Immediately prior, he completed a three year allergy/immunology fellowship at the co-joint program at the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.  He started his fellowship with laboratory research training: he was the first fellow at Cincinnati Children’s to be trained under the T32 grant by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Dr. Seidu had his fellowship structured to include basic science laboratory research and training during all three years of his training; focused on molecular biology his first year with concurrent clinical responsibilities with his second and third years structured to include protected time for molecular and clinical science research while expanding his clinical patient responsibilities. During his fellowship, he also spent two years attending the Immunodeficiency clinics in the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center as well as training in the University of Cincinnati and Bernstein Allergy clinics. His basic science research mentors were Marc Rothenberg, M.D., Ph.D. and Simon Hogan, Ph.D. 


He has been first author or co-author on several basic/molecular science and clinical publications in peer-reviewed journals on immune regulation in the intestine, allergic intestinal disease, eosinophilic diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, drug allergy, immunology and clinical allergy. He has participated as an investigator on several clinical research studies dealing mostly with anti-IL-5 and monoclonal antibodies in the treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis and other eosinophilic disorders. During fellowship, he served as reviewer for numerous journal articles related to allergy/immunology as well gastroenterology during fellowship and continues to participate as an editor/reviewer.


Prior to his fellowship, he completed his Bachelors of Science and Medical Degree through the accelerated six-year medical school program of Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine in northeast Ohio.  He then completed his internship and pediatric residency at Tod’s Children’s Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio.  


He is affiliated with Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta as well as Morehouse School of Medicine where he serves as an adjunct professor in Department of Pediatrics. He is a member of the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology, the American College of Allergy and Immunology, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is board certified in pediatrics as well as allergy/immunology.



Max Shapiro, MD

Director of Adult GI


Dr. Max A. Shapiro received his B.S. degree from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and his M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts. His internship and residency were completed at Emory University, and his fellowship in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. 


After developing an interest in Eosinophilic Esophagitis during his fellowship, he has enjoyed participating in multidisciplinary treatment of this and other disorders as Director of Adult GI at the SEED Center. His other interests include colon cancer screening and treating patients with Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Barrett’s Esophagus. In addition to colonoscopy and upper GI endoscopy, he performs Barrett’s Esophagus ablation (RFA) and Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS).


Dr. Shapiro joined Metro Atlanta Gastroenterology when he moved back to Atlanta with his wife in 2008.  He is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology and is on staff at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital. He currently lives in the Dunwoody area with his young family. 


Barry Klein, Psy.D.

Director of Psychology

Barry L. Klein, Ph.D. has been a licensed psychologist in private practice since 1984.  He completed an internship in clinical psychology at Georgia Baptist Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, in 1984.  Prior to entering private practice, Dr. Klein was a professor at Georgia State University, in the Department of Early Childhood Development for ten years.  While at GSU Dr. Klein taught courses on the developing child, parenting, family dynamics, children’s play, and models of learning.  Also while at GSU, Dr. Klein was a recipient and co-investigator of a three year grant to develop a community based delivery model for services to families with children with developmental disabilities. Dr. Klein received his doctorate from the University of Texas in Austin. Currently, Dr. Klein specializes in psychological testing, family therapy, and psychotherapy.  He developed an effective treatment strategy for families called the “Family Constitution”.  This is a positive approach to promoting peace and harmony in families.


Gerald P. Jenkins, DMin.

Director of Psychology

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, grew up in suburban north St. Louis, under graduate studies in Missouri and graduate studies in Kentucky and Georgia; post graduate career in western Kentucky in a two thousand patient bed hospital and a founding member of Kennedy-era community mental health center; in 1968 moved to Atlanta to head the Georgia Mental Health Institute training program for graduate clergy theological students and then became the director of the pastoral services/training program for graduate clergy; in 1974 joined the pastoral services staff of Georgia Baptist Medical Center to establish a graduate training program in pastoral counseling psycho-therapy, developing pastoral counseling as a discipline of psychotherapy requiring advance students to be knowledgeable and conversant with psychiatric and psychological theories of therapeutic practice.  

Academic: Bachelor of Arts, Quibus Curae Sunt Literate Et Mores, William Jewell College, Liberty, Missouri, 1954; Bachelor of Divinity, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, 1957; Master of Theology, 1959; Doctor of Ministry, Columbia Theological, Atlanta, GA, 1977.   

Professional Service: Six years as pastor while in undergraduate and graduate studies: Green Grove Baptist Church, Latham, Missouri, 1951-1954 and Middle Creek Baptist Church, 1956-1959;

Nine years as Principal Chaplain of Western State Mental Hospital, Hopkinsville, Kentucky, 1958-1967, supervising clinical training programs for graduate students in pastoral theology and serving as clinical instructor at SBTS, Louisville, KY and Vanderbilt University Divinity School, 1964-1967; Concurrently with in-patient hospital chaplaincy/teaching, served nine years as pastor of Trenton Presbyterian Church, 1959-68; Director of Training and Research, Georgia Mental Health Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, 1968-74; Director of Pastoral Counseling Service, Georgia Baptist Medical Center, Atlanta, Georgia, 1974-98; Pastoral Psychotherapist and Family Therapist, Private Practice, 1972 to present;

Professional certification and licensure: Minister-Teaching-Elder (retired), Presbytery of Greater Atlanta Georgia, PCUSA; Supervisor (retired), Association for Clinical Pastoral Education; Clinical Member, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapist; Diplomate, American Association of Pastoral Counselors;  Diplomate, American Psychotherapy Association.

Publications and Manuscripts: Master’s Thesis: Pastoral Care Study of Religious Experiences of Children, Six through Twelve, 1959.  Doctoral Dissertation: Pastoral Ministry and Primal Object Death in Late Childhood and Early Adolescence, 1977. The Church as a Rehabilitation Resource, Virginia Furlong and Gerald P Jenkins, Mental Hospital, Vol. 13, November 1962. Mental Health Chaplaincy Today, AMHC Newsletter, Vol. 25, No. 2, January 1973,pp.39ff. The Development of Religious Commitment: Some Exploratory Research, Jackson W. Carroll and Gerald P. Jenkins, The Journal of Pastoral Care, Vol. XXVII, December 1973, pp. 236ff. Confrontation -Pastoral and Therapeutic, Gerald P Jenkins, The Dictionary of Pastoral Care, Abington Press, 1990, p. 213. Pastoral Psychotherapy and the Symbolic, Pastoral Psychology, Vol. 25, No 1, 1976, pp. 54-67. Other unpublished papers presented at national and regional conferences.

Currently in private practice of psychotherapy and marriage and family therapy (Georgia license MFT000318) 634 Peachtree Parkway, Cumming, Georgia (678 513 7676) in an interdisciplinary context with two colleagues of many years. 



Katherine Spencer, Psy.D.

Dr. Katherine (Katie) Spencer is a licensed pediatric health psychologist who specializes in helping children, adolescents, young adults, and their families cope with and adjust to acute and chronic medical conditions and related emotional, behavioral, and developmental disorders. She provides cognitive-behavioral therapy, behavioral parent training, biofeedback training, and behavioral medicine consultation.


Dr. Spencer is an Atlanta-area native who completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Vanderbilt University and her Masters and Doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology from Georgia School of Professional Psychology. As a graduate student, she trained within the Aflac Cancer Center and Neuropsychology Department at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She completed her residency and fellowship in Pediatric Psychology at the Kennedy Krieger Institute/ Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. In February 2012, she joined The Behavioral Institute of Atlanta as a Psychology Associate.


Dr. Spencer specializes in assessment and treatment of the wide spectrum of emotional and behavioral problems associated with pediatric health conditions. She helps children and families better understand the interactions between physical and behavioral health, stress, and family functioning. She uses research based treatment to help children and families reduce stress, reach personal goals, and ultimately achieve a better quality of life. Dr. Spencer has specific interest in working with children and teens with pediatric gastroenterological disorders, and she is excited to provide services for individuals with Eosinophilic Disease.


She is a member of American Psychological Association, Society of Pediatric Psychology, Georgia Psychological Association, and Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. She has also been involved with several research projects, presented posters at national and international conferences, and written or co-written psychology publications. 


Pamela Dorsett, Ph.D.

Pamela Dorsett, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist with over 25 years of clinical experience.  She works with clients from preschool age through adulthood and specializes in anxiety disorders, particularly obsessive-compulsive disorder and phobias; body-focused repetitive behaviors, such as hair-pulling (trichotillomania) and dermatillomania (skin-picking); attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder; and parenting.  Dr. Dorsett performs psychological evaluations.

Before joining the Behavioral Institute of Atlanta, Dr. Dorsett held faculty positions in university and medical school settings and conducted research in the areas of social skills and parenting.  She received her doctorate in clinical psychology with a specialization in behavior therapy from Georgia State University in 1983.  Dr. Dorsett is a member of the Georgia Psychological Association, the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation and the Trichotillomania Learning Center.  Dr. Dorsett and her husband married in 1980.  They have two children.


Bailey Koch, RD., LD., CNSD

 Director of Nutrition

 Bailey started her career at Northside Hospital and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite with Pediatric Nutrition as her main interest.  While at Northside, she provided relief coverage to dietitian’s in all areas of the hospital including the 100 bed NICU.  At Scottish Rite, she gained experience with multiple facets of pediatric nutrition including, but not limited to, working with the AFLAC Cancer Center, Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Units, Neonatal follow-up clinic and the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit.  In 2006 Bailey joined the Children's Center for Digestive Healthcare (CCDHC) team, providing nutrition counseling to patients and families.  While at CCDHC, she has developed an interest in helping children that have been diagnosed with multiple food allergies and Celiac Disease.  She has been a presenter on this topic to the Raising Our Celiac Kids (R.O.C.K.) support group, the Georgia Eosinophilic Esophagitis support group and Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta support group.  Bailey also enjoys working with children who have been diagnosed with Failure to Thrive, feeding issues and obesity.  


In addition to her clinical work, Bailey has been a presenter on neonatal and pediatric nutrition topics to multiple groups of medical professionals, including physicians, therapists, nurses and other dietitians.  She has collaborated on several book projects related to the topic of pediatric nutrition and has been involved with research on Celiac Disease and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.  She serves as a preceptor to dietetic interns in the Emory University Hospital and Southern Regional Hospital internship programs where she enjoys teaching up and coming professionals about the specialized field of pediatric nutrition. 

Bailey earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from the University of Mississippi and completed her dietetic internship at Emory University.  She is a Board Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition and successfully completed the ELL Foundation PAC Food Allergy and Intolerance Training Certification for Dietitians.   She served on the Greater Atlanta Dietetics Association Board as the State Professional Recruitment Coordinator. 

Outside of work, Bailey enjoys spending time with her husband Jason, their son Watson and 2 dogs, spending time with friends, working out, shopping, and traveling.


Jennifer Cardenas
School Advocacy Specialist
Jennifer Cardenas is an education advocate trained through the Parent Leadership Support Project out of the Georgia Advocacy Office.  She has supported dozens of children and their families through the special education process including eligibility, 504 and IEP development and implementation, crisis management planning, health plan implementation, and positive behavior reinforcement.  Jennifer presented at the 2011 APFED national conference and will again be speaking at the upcoming conference in July of 2012.  She is a regularly scheduled speaker at Gigi's Playhouse in Atlanta.  Jennifer volunteers her services for the Forsyth County Juvenile Court as a CASA partner. In March of 2012, she received the Forsyth County CASA Light of Hope award for being a positive adult presence in the lives of children.  She is expected to receive her Masters of Science in Conflict Management in 2014. 
Sheryn Cohen, MBA
CEO/President/Coordinator of Services
Sheryn completed her undergraduate at The University of Georgia where she participated in the Honors Program.  A new honors program was created for her allowing her to work on her undergraduate degree of Bachelors of Human Environmental Sciences and her graduate degree of Masters of Business Administration at the same time.  Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, she transfered to University of Alabama to complete her MBA where she worked in the Athletic Academic Advising Department while completing her specialties within her MBA in marketing and international business.  She studied for her international business specialty in London, England. 
For the next 6 years, she worked with Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals in New Orleans, and Hoechst Celanese Pharmaceuticals in Alabama and Mississippi in the area of sales where she won numerous awards including top sales person regionally and nationally in several areas, speaking awards, and leadership awards.  
She then moved back to Atlanta, where she grew up, and began working for AT&T in their Global Account Department.  She worked on a team managing one of the largest domestic accounts where she again won many sales awards and leadership honors.  She was the interface between the technical department and the company’s board of directors creating many solutions within the corporate structure as well as contract negotiations.  
After her second child was born, Sheryn “retired” to stay home with her children.  In 2000, she created a division of The Challenger League which is a national baseball league for children with disabilities both physical and cognitive where she won the volunteer service award and was featured in a company promotion by American Express Financial Division as one of the top 3 charitable organizations in the nation.  She ran the entire team for 10 years including all of the fund raising activities which paid for all aspects of the team, coordinating games, managing volunteers both adult and teenage, mentoring teenage volunteers in leadership roles, coordinating “buddies” for the players, attracting famous guests for games, and organizing benefits within participating schools.  Several of the teenagers that she mentored went on to start Challenger Leagues through their respective universities.  Over the 10 years, approximately 120 disabled children and 600 non disabled children participated in the program.