Aviva B. Sopher, MD, MS

Pediatric Endocrinology
Endocrinology, Pediatrics
More specialties
Accepting New Patients
Treats Children
Virtual Visits/Telehealth
Profile Headshot


I take a personal approach with my pediatric and adolescent patients and their families to address their medical concerns and to define a treatment plan that is appropriate for their care.

I am a pediatric endocrinologist with interests that include polycysytic ovary syndrome (PCOS), bone health, disorders of puberty, thyroid disorders, pituitary disorders and growth disorders. In addition to my training in pediatrics and pediatric endocrinology, I have Master of Science degrees in Nutrition (1999) and in Patient Oriented Research (2014) and have completed a research fellowship at the Body Composition Unit of Columbia University Medical Center (2003). I comleted the TRANSFORM KL2 program sponsored by the Irving Institute of Clinical and Translational Research, a mentored career development program. My responsibilites include my clinical practice, overseeing clinical and research fellows, mentoring students, and running a clinical study. I have been certified as a clinical densitometrist by the International Society of Clinical Densitometry and interpret pediatric bone mineral density studies performed at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

My research project, “A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial assessing the efficacy of metformin for hepatic fat in adolescents and young adults with polycystic ovary syndrome” has the primary goal of exploring the use of novel and noninvasive testing and a pilot double-blind placebo-controlled trial of metformin with the intention of identifying and potentially treating non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in adolescents and young adults with PCOS. My research is unique in that it uses minimally invasive body composition methodology, which makes it particularly attractive for use in adolescents and young adults. My overall clinical research goal is early identification and treatment of metabolic and body composition abnormalities associated with PCOS and to prevent lifelong morbidity associated with this disorder in a young population

Areas of Expertise / Conditions Treated

  • Adrenal and Pituitary Disease
  • Calcium Metabolism Disorder
  • Growth Disorder
  • Metabolic Bone Disease
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Puberty
  • Thyroid Disorder

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at CUMC

Hospital Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center
  • NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital


  • Hebrew
  • Spanish


  • Female

Schedule an Appointment

Virtual Visits/Telehealth

Virtual Visits allow you to connect with your provider from the comfort, convenience, and safety of your own home.

Schedule Virtual Visit

Phone Appointments

New and Existing Patients:

Connect Patient Portal

For existing patients, login to make an appointment, view documentation or contact your care provider.

Connect Sign In


Insurance Accepted


  • Aetna Signature Administrators
  • EPO
  • HMO
  • Medicare Managed Care
  • NYP Employee Plan
  • NY Signature
  • POS
  • PPO
  • Student Health

Affinity Health Plan

  • Essential Plan
  • Medicaid Managed Care

Amida Care

  • Special Needs


  • EPO
  • Great West (National)
  • HMO
  • Medicare Managed Care
  • POS
  • PPO


  • Medicare Managed Care
  • PPO


  • ConnectiCare
  • EPO
  • Essential Plan
  • HMO
  • Medicaid Managed Care
  • Medicare Managed Care
  • POS
  • PPO
  • Select Care (Exchange)
  • Vytra

Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield

  • EPO
  • HMO
  • Medicare Managed Care
  • PPO

Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HealthPlus

  • Child/Family Health Plus
  • Essential Plan
  • Medicaid Managed Care

Fidelis Care

  • Child/Family Health Plus
  • Essential Plan
  • Medicaid Managed Care
  • Medicare Managed Care


  • Child/Family Health Plus
  • Leaf (Exchange)
  • Medicaid Managed Care
  • Medicare Managed Care

Local 1199

  • Local 1199

MagnaCare (National)

  • MagnaCare


  • Railroad
  • Traditional Medicare


  • Multiplan

MVP Health Care

  • Child/Family Health Plus
  • Essential Plan
  • HMO
  • Medicaid Managed Care

Quality Health Management

  • Quality Health Management


  • Compass (Exchange)
  • Empire Plan
  • HMO
  • Medicaid (Community Plan)
  • Medicare Managed Care
  • Oxford Freedom
  • Oxford HMO
  • Oxford Liberty
  • POS
  • PPO


  • Medicare Managed Care
  • SelectHealth
  • Special Needs


  • Medicaid Managed Care
  • Medicare Managed Care

World Trade Center Health Plan

  • World Trade Center Health Plan

*Please contact the provider’s office directly to verify that your particular insurance is accepted.

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • New York University - School of Medicine
  • Residency: Jacobi Medical Center
  • Fellowship: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

Committees, Societies, Councils

Society for Pediatric Research

Pediatric Endocrine Society

The Endocrine Society

Women in Endocrinology

International Society of Clinical Densitometry

American Academy of Pediatrics

Board Certifications

  • Pediatric Endocrinology
  • Pediatrics

Honors & Awards

2018 - Special Recognition for Poster, The Obesity Society Meeting

2015 - Early Investigators Award, The Endocrine Society

2009 - Winner, ENDO Presidential Poster Competition, The Endocrine Society

2009 - First Place, 11th Annual Fellows' Poster Day, Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University Medical Center


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

The goal of my research project, “A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Randomized Clinical Trial Assessing the Efficacy of Metformin for Hepatic Fat in Adolescents and Young Adults with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome,” is to explore the use of novel and noninvasive methodologies in an at-risk adolescent and young adult population with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who may gain long-term health benefits from early detection and treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). PCOS is a common condition that frequently presents in adolescence and is defined by hyperandrogenism and ovulatory dysfunction. Affected individuals are at increased risk of insulin resistance, NAFLD and dyslipidemia, features all associated with the metabolic syndrome, a rising major public health concern. Recently, an association between PCOS and NAFLD has been noted but has only been superficially studied in the adolescent and young adult population. The susceptibility of certain PCOS patients to developing NAFLD is theorized to be due to the concomitant presence of insulin resistance, hyperandrogenemia, and a genetic predisposition. Metformin is an insulin sensitizing medication widely used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus that may have beneficial effects on insulin resistance-related conditions including PCOS and NAFLD. Although widely used in PCOS, its effect on NAFLD in this group has not been previously studied. My protocol employs several innovative methodologies to better understand NAFLD in adolescents and young adults with PCOS including percentage liver fat by 1-H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and pancreatic polypeptide as biomarkers of NAFLD, hepatic apoptosis markers as biomarkers of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) I148M allele of the patatin-like phospholipase 3 (PNPLA3) gene as an indicator of possible genetic predisposition to NAFLD. Forty adolescents and young adults with PCOS will be studied at baseline and those with elevated liver fat (>4.8%) (n≈20) will be randomized in a six-month double-blind placebo-controlled trial of metformin. The primary aims of my research are: 1) To determine whether PCOS with liver fat >4.8% treated with metformin for six months will have a decline in percentage liver fat compared to a placebo group. 2a) To measure the association of the PNPLA3 I148M allele with NAFLD in PCOS at baseline (n=40). 2b) To measure the association of percentage liver fat with biomarkers of NAFLD (pancreatic polypeptide), NASH (hepatitis apoptosis markers), dyslipidemia, insulin resistance and body composition at baseline (n=40) and after a placebo-controlled intervention with metformin in PCOS with liver fat >4.8% (n=20). The long-term goal of my research is to lay the groundwork for the prevention and treatment of NAFLD and other metabolic disorders in adolescents and young adults with PCOS and to prevent lifelong morbidity associated with PCOS

Research Interests

  • Adolescents and Young Women
  • Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA)
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS)
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Metformin
  • Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Vitamin D in pediatric obesity

Clinical Trials

NCT02500147 A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Randomized Clinical Trial Assessing the Efficacy of Metformin for Hepatic Fat in Adolescents and Young Adults with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Efficacy of Vitamin D Supplementation in Obese Children


07/2016 – 06/2018: ECRIP Scholar

07/2013 – 06/2015: CTSA/Irving Institute Transform KL2 grant, KL2 TR000081, NIH (PI: H. Ginsberg)

07/2013 – 06/2014: Principal Investigator, John M. Driscoll, Jr., M.D. Children’s Fund Scholar, Driscoll Children’s Fund Award, Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University Medical Center

07/2010 – 06/2011: Principal Investigator, CTO/CTSA Pilot Grant, UL1RR024156 , National Center For Research Resources, NIH

07/2009 – 06/2014: Principal Investigator, Recanati Family Gift, distributed by the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Columbia University Medical Center

07/2007 – 06/2009: Trainee, NIH NRSA Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) in Pediatric Endocrinology, (PI, SE Oberfield)

3/1/2008 - 2/28/2009: Imaging Core Pilot Grant #1004, Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research

Selected Publications

Original Peer Reviewed Articles:

Wilkes M, Thornton J, Horlick M, Sopher AB, Widen E, Wang J, Pierson R, Gallagher D. Relationship of BMI Z score to Fat Percent and Fat Mass in Multiethnic Prepubertal Children. Pediatric Obesity 2019. DOI:10.1111/ijpo.12463

Vuguin P*, Sopher AB*, Roumimper H, Chin V, Silfen M, McMahon DJ, Fennoy I, Oberfield SE. Alterations in Glucose Effectiveness and Insulin Dynamics: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or Body Mass Index, Hormone Research in Paediatrics 2017, 87: 359 - 367; PMID: 28478437. *Both authors contributed equally to this paper.

Williams KW, Oberfield SE, Zhang C, McMahon DJ, Sopher AB. The relationship of metabolic syndrome and body composition in children with premature adrenarche: is it age related? Hormone Research in Paediatrics, 2015;84:401-7. PMID: 26513727

Sopher AB, Grigoriev G, Cameo T, Laura D, Lerner JP, Chang RJ, McMahon DJ, Oberfield SE. Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) may be a useful adjunct in the diagnosis of PCOS in adolescents, Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2014 Nov;27(11-12):1175-9. PMID: 25003376.

Shams KJ, Fennoy I, Hassoun A, Lerner SL, Aranoff GS, Sopher AB, Yang C, Oberfield SE. Outcome analysis of aromatase inhibitor therapy to increase predicted final height in males with potential short adult stature and/or rapid pubertal growth, Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism 2014 1;27 (7-8):725-30. PMID: 24756052.

Trapp C, Elder R, Gerken AT, Sopher AB, Lerner S, Aranoff G, Berman-Rosenzweig E, Pediatric Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension and Hyperthyroidism: A Potentially Fatal Combination, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 2012: 97(7):2217-22. PMID: 22622024.

Sopher AB, Gerken AT, Blaner WS, Root JM, McMahon DJ, Oberfield SE. Metabolic manifestations of polycystic ovary syndrome in nonobese adolescents: Retinol-binding protein 4 and ectopic fat deposition. Fertility and Sterility 2012: 97(4)1009 - 1015. PMID 22341881.

Sopher AB, Gerken AT, Deeds S, Lee E, Gallagher D, Hirsch J, Shungu D, Hassoun A, McMahon D, Blaner WE, Oberfield SE. Retinol-binding protein 4 correlates with triglycerides but not insulin resistance in prepubertal children with and without premature adrenarche Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism 2011: 24 (9-10) 683 - 687, PMID 22145457.

Sopher AB, Jean AM, Zwany SK, Winston DM, Pomeranz CB, Bell JJ, McMahon DJ, Hassoun A, Fennoy I, Oberfield SE. Bone age advancement in prepubertal children with obesity and premature adrenarche: possible potentiating factors, Obesity (Silver Spring) 2011: 19(6): 1259 - 1264. PMID 21311512.

Conroy R, Lee E, Jean A, Oberfield SE, Sopher AB, Kiefer K, Raker C, McMahon D, Zitsman J, Fennoy I. Effect of laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (lagb) on metabolic syndrome and its risk factors in morbidly obese adolescents, Journal of Obesity 2011: 906284 Epub 2010 Nov 7. PMID 21188168.

Freedman DS, Wang J, Thornton JC, Mei Z, Sopher AB, Pierson RN, Dietz WH, Horlick M. The classification of body fatness by BMI-for -age categories among children. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 2009: 163(9): 805 - 811. PMID 19736333.

Sopher AB, Thornton J, Wang J, Pierson RN Jr., Heymsfield SB Horlick M. Measurement of percentage body fat in 411 children and adolescents: a comparison of dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry to a four-compartment model. Pediatrics 2004:113 (5) 1285 - 1290. PMID 15121943.

Sopher AB, Thornton JC, Silfen ME, Manibo A, Oberfield SE, Wang J, Pierson RN, Levine LS, Horlick M. Prepubertal girls with premature adrenarche have greater bone mineral content and density than controls. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 2001; 86: 5269 - 5272. PMID 11701690.

Case Reports:
Chang AK, Sopher AB, Gallagher MP, Khandji AG, Oberfield SE. Congenital pituitary gland abnormalities - a possible association with maternal hyperglycemia: two case reports, Clinical Pediatrics 2011: 50(7): 662 - 665, PMID: 21339251.

Books and Chapters:
Sopher AB, Cunningham SJ, Markowitz M, Baer TG. Endocrine Emergencies In Clinical Manual of Emergency Pediatrics, 6th Edition eds Gershel J, Crain EF, Cunningham SJ, Meltzer J; Cambridge University Press 2018, UK.

Sopher AB, Shen W, Pietrobelli A. Pediatric Body Composition Methods In Human Body Composition, 2nd Edition; eds Heymsfield SB, Lohman TG, Wang Z, Going SB; Human Kinetics 2005, USA.

Reviews and Editorials:
Sopher AB, Fennoy I, Oberfield SE. An update on childhood bone health: mineral accrual, assessment and treatment. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2015 Feb;22(1):35-40. PMID:25517023.

Agapova SE, Cameo T, Sopher AB, Oberfield SE. Diagnosis and challenges of polycystic ovary syndrome in adolescence, Seminars in Reproductive Medicine 2014: 32: 194, 201. PMID 24756052.

Oberfield SE, Sopher AB, Gerken AT. Approach to the girl with early onset of pubic hair. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 2011: 96 (6) 1610 -1622. PMID 21602454.