Meet the Victor Center Team

Saima Aftab, MD

Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Nicklaus Children's Hospital
NCPS Chief, Section of Neonatology

Primary Office: Miami

Clinical Interests: Neonatology, delivery room resuscitation, incorporating high fidelity simulation in practice to ensure the highest quality of care in code situations

Jennifer McCafferty, PhD

Administrative Director

Dr. McCafferty-Fernandez currently serves as the Director of the Nicklaus Children’s Research Institute & Office of Sponsored Programs where she is responsible for research infrastructure and compliance, including oversight of the AAHRPP-accredited human research protections program and clinical trial operations units.

She is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University and Research Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. In addition to her administrative duties, she leads the NCHS Personalized Medicine Initiative and serves as the Nicklaus Children’s Principal Investigator (PI) on the Sanford Children’s Genomic Medicine Consortium. She is also PI or Co-Investigator for several ongoing research studies including OneFlorida, a Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) funded clinical data network.

Deborah Wasserman

Debbie Wasserman, MS

Genetic Counselor / Outreach Coordinator

Deborah Wasserman, MS, is a genetic counselor with over 25 years’ experience in prenatal diagnosis and medical genetics clinics. As the genetic counselor for the Victor Center for the Prevention of Jewish Genetic Diseases, Miami, she provides genetic counseling for Ashkenazi Jewish genetic diseases to students, newlywed couples and other patients. Ms. Wasserman provides follow-up counseling and support for those found to be carriers.

As the outreach coordinator for the Victor Center, Miami, she is the liaison between the Victor Center and community. She is available to run educational programs about the Victor Center and Jewish genetic disease screening, tailored to your organizations needs and interests. Contact her if you're interested in learning more about the Victor Center, organizing a community or campus screening, or getting screened in our office. Debbie can be reached at 786-897-9587 or at

Shari Debowsky

Senior Outreach Associate

Shari Debowsky is a Marketing, Fundraising and Outreach professional with over 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector. As the Senior Outreach Associate for the Victor Center for the Prevention of Jewish Genetic Diseases, she provides outreach, awareness and educational events for the Ashkenazi Jewish population across our country. Shari has a passion for pre-conception genetics as her and her husband are both Tay-Sachs carriers. She believes that knowledge is power and knowing what is in your genes allows you to make informed decisions when you are ready to plan for your family.

Shari holds a BA in Holocaust and Judaic Studies as well as a Certificate in Ethnic Studies from Florida Atlantic University.
Contact her if you are interested in learning more about the Victor Center, organizing a community educational program, community screening, or bringing the Victor Center to your neighborhood. Shari can be reached at 786-624-2051 or

 A physician identified with a Nicklaus Children’s Pediatric Specialists logo is an employee of Nicklaus Children's Health System. All other physicians listed on the website are in private medical practices.