Research Investigators & Staff

Principle Investigator

Sean Moore, MD, MSSean Moore, MD, MS
Dr. Sean Moore is a physician-scientist with training in pediatrics, gastroenterology, global health, and cell biology. He joined the Department of Pediatrics at UVa in 2016 as Director of Research for the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, & Nutrition.  He became Division Chief in 2020.

Lab Members

VinVin icios Alves da Silva PhDicios Alves da Silva PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Vinicios graduated in Pharmacy at the Federal University of Ceara (Brazil) and got his Ph.D from the same institution in conjunction with University of Cincinnati (Ohio). Since then he has been balancing his passion for doing research in academia and his history of working in the medical practice industry, with focus on laboratory diagnosis of diseases. When not hiking or boating, he has been successful in applying his lab knowledge  to improvise new dishes in his kitchen with a low rate of complaints and grimace from his guests

Arabinda Mandal, PhDArabinda Mandal, PhD
Research Scientist

Dr. Arabinda Mandal is a research scientist with training in reproductive molecular biology, cellular biology, and immunology. He joined the UVA Department of Surgery in 2018. His focus of research is to elucidate the crosstalk between the intestinal neurons and intestinal organoids to better understand intestinal failures, inflammatory bowel disease, and short bowel syndromes.

Daniel Levin, MD

Daniel Levin, MD
Assistant Professor

Dr. Daniel Levin is a surgeon-scientist with training in general surgery, pediatric general and non-cardiac thoracic surgery, cell biology, and tissue engineering.  He joined the Department of Surgery at UVA in 2017 as an Assistant Professor in Surgery.  His research focus is on intestinal stem cell biology and the creation of a tissue-engineered intestine for the treatment of pediatric short bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders.

Chioma Moneme, MD, MBA
Surgery Resident
Person in white coat
Dr. Chioma Moneme is a third year resident in the Department of General Surgery at the University of Virginia. She received her BA in Cell Biology and Neuroscience from Rutgers University in 2015 and a dual MD/MBA from the University of Southern California in 2020. She is interested in pursuing a future career as a pediatric surgeon and has joined Moore lab as an NIH T32 postdoctoral research fellow. In her free time, she enjoys baking, cooking, traveling, weight lifting, and reading a good fiction novel!

Deiziane Costa, Ph.D.

Deiziane Costa, Ph.D.
Research Scientist

Dr. Deiziane Costa, recently, finished her Postdoctoral training in Pharmacology from UFC/Brazil (2019-2021)/postdoctoral fellow at the University of Virginia (2019-2021).  Since 2017, she has been at the University of Virginia as a pre-doctoral fellow (2017-2019) and postdoctoral fellow (2019-2021). She received her Ph.D. in Morphofuncional science (2019) and Master’s degree in Pharmacology (2016), as well as her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing (2013) from the Federal University of Ceara (UFC)/Brazil. She is trained in biomolecular technique analysis (Western Blotting and qPCR), the culture of specific bacterias (such as C. difficile and C. jejuni), and eukaryotic cells, such as in vivo models. She is interested in studying how enteric glia-neuro-immune interaction contributing to intestinal infections related to specific pathogens, such as C. difficile. She has been also working with the intergeneration model of C. jejuni, as well as other enteropathogenic models. She is a really active person, enjoying making new friends, playing sports (tennis, volleyball…), hiking, traveling, doing exercise, and dancing.

Kleybson Sousa, Ph.D.
Research Scientist

Kleybson SousaKleybson is a Biomedical researcher with training in microbiology, electrophysiology, and cell culture with a focus on infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, and fungal and bacterial biofilms. Currently, his research focuses on diarrheal diseases, infant malnutrition, and intestinal functional barriers. Outside of the lab, Kleybson enjoys engaging in sports (running, volleyball, tennis, and pickleball), playing his guitar, cooking, and going to the gym.

Casandra Hoffman, Ph.D.
Senior Research Program Manager (TUMI)

Casey received her B.S. in Biology fromCasandra Hoffman, Ph.D. Juniata College in 2012 and her Ph.D. in Microbiology from UVA in 2017 (supervisor, Erik L. Hewlett). She worked with Dr. Moore as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow for one year, studying mouse models of undernutrition and circadian rhythms of host biology that influence susceptibility to bacterial toxins using organoid models. She moved to Portland, OR to develop models of host-pathogen interactions in the model organism, C. elegans in the Aballay Lab at Oregon Health and Sciences University. She moved back to the Blue Ridge Mountains in December 2019 to help establish and manage the TransUniversity Microbiome Initiative. Casey is actively involved with many of the Moore Lab projects, especially those that involve the microbiome’s impact on host health and disease. In her free time, you can find her running, climbing up rocks, hiking, growing plants, or curled up with a cup of coffee and a book. It goes without saying that her dog, Gwydion, is always right by her side.

Wendy Williams
Sr. Administrative Assistant/Fellowship Coordinator

Wendy WilliamsWendy has a 16-year history in Pediatrics and is extremely honored to have served 33 years total at UVA, during which time she has flourished and continues to have a positive impact.  Wendy is a Virginia native; she was actually born at UVA Hospital and feels this is a sign she is meant to be here!  Wendy enjoys quality time with her husband in Lynchburg.

Andrea Marrs, MS
Clinical Research Coordinator

Andrea has recently completed her M.S. in Andrea Marrs, MSHuman Nutrition (with focus in integrative/functional nutrition) from the University of Bridgeport as well as moved from the Winston-Salem, NC area after 12 years to join the Pediatrics GI/Hepatology/Nutrition research division/team. Her prior experience includes 21 years of oncology research experience as a CRC, QA/Education, and more recently as a manager of a program. She grew up in Fluvanna County and got her BS at James Madison University in Integrated Science and Technology (ISAT) with a concentration in Biotechnology. She has one son who is finishing up his degree in engineering at UNC Charlotte and enjoys the beach, running outside in scenic areas, and shopping at healthy markets and farmer’s markets as well as loves to cook nutritious and tasty meals.

Sana Syed, MD, MS
Associate Professor
Dr. Sana Syed is a Global Health Scientist with a background in pediatrics, Sana Syed, MD, MS Associate Professor gastroenterology & nutrition, and global health/epidemiology.  She is on faculty at the University of Virginia in the Center for Global Health with an adjunct faculty appointment at the Aga Khan University, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Karachi, Pakistan with the overarching goal to study small intestinal structure and function in children who experience growth and vaccine failure in low- and middle-income countries around the world.


Undergraduate Researchers, Summer Students, and Interns

Georgia Brousseau

Georgia is a fourth-year undergraduate studentA woman stands in front of a tan building with leafy plants studying Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Anthropology at the University of Virginia. She is passionate about the intersection between technical design and biological systems, and is interested in studying the instrumentation and analysis of microphysiological models. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, cooking, and experimenting with new crafts.


Maddie Miles

Maddie Miles

Maddie is a second-year undergraduate student double majoring in biochemistry and Spanish. Also a researcher in the Gahlmann lab, she is interested in using microscopy to study biofilm formation on host-pathogen interfaces. After college, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry. Aside from her academics, Maddie participates in the Organization of Young Filipino Americans (OYFA) and is passionate about bringing awareness of the Asian community to the UVA student body.

Samir Muhammad

Samir Muhammad is a 4th Year BiomedicalA man stands outside on UVA's grounds in a blue sweater Engineering student at the University of Virginia. Besides developing a capstone project with Moore Lab, Samir also conducts research in the Caliari Lab on engineered biomaterials to facilitate regeneration in smooth muscle. Outside of research, he loves to play guitar and skateboard, and is passionate about diversity and inclusion in tech.


Haleigh McLean

Haleigh McLean is a 4th-year undergraduate Haleigh McLeanstudent in the Human Biology Distinguished Majors Program. She is interested in pediatrics and is completing her 4th-year thesis within the Moore Lab. After college, she plans to attend medical school. Outside of school, her interests include working out, reading, and spending quality time with friends and family.