Growing up in Spain and Mexico, Ximena Lopez, M.D., spent a great deal of her time hospitalized for severe asthma. That experience informs her daily work as a physician.
“I was impressed by the physicians who took care of me, and I have wanted to be one ever since,” she says.
Dr. Lopez focused her studies on the endocrine system, the collection of glands and organs that produce and regulate hormones in the bloodstream to control many functions of the body, including metabolism, growth and sexual development.
“Most endocrine conditions can be successfully treated, and that is extremely gratifying,” she says.
Dr. Lopez joined Children’s Health℠ in 2010 and quickly established herself as an advocate for gender diverse and transgender children and adolescents. These individuals might suffer from gender dysphoria, the distress that arises from having a gender that is not consistent with the gender assigned at birth.
Dr. Lopez founded the GENder Education and Care, Interdisciplinary Support (GENECIS) program at Children’s Health in 2015. It is the first such program in the Southwest that provides comprehensive mental and endocrine care for youth with gender dysphoria.
Management of children with gender dysphoria is complex and requires a collaborative focus, as well as an intricate attention to detail. Dr. Lopez finds her work captivating.
“I am constantly inspired by my patients and their families,” she explains. “It is extremely gratifying to see a child who is depressed blossom and become a happy individual with the adequate support and treatment.”
Dr. Lopez has participated in more than 40 international, national and local presentations as speaker on this topic, including a TED Talk.
In addition, Dr. Lopez is the principal investigator for a study evaluating the changes in psychological outcomes in adolescents with gender dysphoria followed in the GENECIS program, most of whom are on endocrine therapy.
Dr. Lopez earned her medical degree from Universidad La Salle in Mexico. She completed her pediatric residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2005; her pediatric endocrinology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School; and her clinical research fellowship at Joslin Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in 2008.
She is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and its Board on Pediatric Endocrinology, and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Pediatric Endocrine Society and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.
She is also an associate professor of pediatrics in the Pediatric Endocrinology Division at UT Southwestern.
Outside of her practice, Dr. Lopez enjoys family activities outdoors with her son, husband and dog. She likes to go hiking and looks forward to opportunities to travel and explore new places.
Education and Training
- Medical School
- Universidad La Salle (2000)
- University of Illinois at Chicago College of Med (2005), Pediatrics
- Massachusetts General Hospital (2008), Pediatric Endocrinology
- Board Certification
- American Board of Pediatrics/Endocrinology
- 22q Deletion Syndrome (DiGeorge Syndrome, VCFS)
- Acromegaly (Gigantism)
- Addison's Disease
- Adrenal Carcinomas
- Adrenal Disorders
- Adrenal Masses
- Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer
- Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS)
- Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome
- Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH)
- Constitutional Growth Delay
- Cushing's Syndrome
- Delayed Puberty
- Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)
- Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP)
- Follicular Thyroid Cancer
- Graves' Disease
- Growth Hormone Deficiency
- Hyperglycemia (High Blood Sugar)
- Klinefelter Syndrome
- Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS)
- Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)
- Mature Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY)
- Medullary Thyroid Cancer
- Multinodular Goiter
- Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia (MEN)
- Papillary Thyroid Cancer
- Parathyroid Masses
- Pediatric McCune-Albright Syndrome
- Pediatric and Adolescent Gender Dysphoria
- Pituitary Lesions
- Prader-Willi Syndrome
- Precocious Puberty (Early Puberty)
- Short Stature
- Thyroid Carcinoma (Cancer)
- Thyroid Disorders
- Thyroid Nodules
- Thyroiditis (Hashimoto's Disease)
- Turner Syndrome
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Type 2 Diabetes
Departments and Programs
- Gender dysphoria in children and adolescents.
- Metabolic effects of endocrine therapy in adolescents with gender dysphoria.
- Obesity in childhood.
- Type 2 diabetes in pediatrics
- Impact of GLP-1 and GLP-1 Receptor Agonists on Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Type 2 diabetes, Verge D, Lopez X Curr Diabetes Rev April 2010
- Insulin Enhances Glucose-Stimulated Insulin Secretion in Healthy Humans, Bouche C*, Lopez X*, Fleischman A, Cypess AM, O?Shea S, Stefanoviski D, Bergman RN, Rogatsky E, Stein DT, Kulkarni RN, Kahn CR, Goldfine AB Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A March 2010 107(10) 4770-5
- Family History of Diabetes Impacts on Interactions between Minimal Model Estimates of Insulin Sensitivity and Glucose Effectiveness, Lopez X, Bouche C, Tatro E, Goldfine AB Diabetes Obes Metab February 2009 11(2) 123-30
- Human Insulin Analog Induced Lipoatrophy, Lopez, X, Castells M, Velazquez EF, Ricker A, Lin D, Mun E, Goldfine AB Diabetes Care March 2008 31(3) 442-4
- Hypoglycemia in Children (chapter), American Academy of Pediatrics Nutrition Handbook 6th ed Lopez X, Levitsky LL 2007
- World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) (2014)
- Pediatric Endocrine Society (2006)
- American Academy of Pediatrics (2002)
Awards and Honors
- Graduation with honors from medical school (2000)