Gi Stress Bio Lab Team Photo

Dr. Adam Moeser, DVM, MS, PhD


Professor and Matilda R. Wilson Endowed Chair

Dr. Moeser joined the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences as associate professor and Matilda R. Wilson Endowed Chair in 2015. He directs the Gastrointestinal Stress Biology Laboratory (GISBL). Dr. Moeser is originally from Massachusetts and earned a BS degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2000. He then received a MS in Animal Nutrition in 2001, PhD in Physiology (under the direction of Anthony Blikslager) in 2006, and DVM in 2008 from North Carolina State University. During his doctoral research at North Carolina State University, he studied mechanisms of intestinal barrier injury and repair under Dr. Anthony Blikslager, DVM PhD DACVS. Dr. Moeser was a recipient of NIH T32 post-doctoral fellowship based at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease). He received an NIH K08 award from the NIDDK in 2008 where he trained under the mentorship of Dr. Soman Abraham (Duke University) in the area of Immunology/mast cell biology. Dr. Moeser joined the faculty at NC State University as an assistant professor in 2008 and was recruited into the Matilda R. Wilson Endowed Research Chair at Michigan State University in 2015. Since 2008, his research has been continuously funded by the NIH, USDA, and industry, and has published over 80 peer-reviewed scientific papers and has given over 100 invited national and international research presentations.

Dr. Moeser has a passion for training the next generation of clinician and basic scientists and his trainees have received numerous accolades including highly competitive fellowships (NIH F30 and K01 awards, NARSAD award) s and have obtained positions as post-docs, tenure-track faculty, industry scientists and directors, and clinician-Scientists

Dr. Moeser's publications

Kyan Thelen, MS


Laboratory manager and PhD student

Kyan joined the GISBL in 2018 as a laboratory manager and research associate. She started pursuing her PhD in 2020, and her dissertation research focuses on regulation of stress-associated intestinal inflammation in weaned pigs by histamine receptor signaling. She obtained her BS degree in Animal Science in 2015 and her MS degree in Comparative Medicine and Integrative Biology in 2017, both from Michigan State University. Her MS research, under Dr. Andres Contreras, focused on adipose tissue biology and modeling perivascular adipose tissue.

Yu Ping Tang, PhD


Research associate

Dr. Yu Ping Tang received her PhD in Neuroscience/Psychology at Michigan State University (1996). Yu Ping joined Dr. Moeser’s lab in June 2021. Her current research projects are focused on mechanisms of sex differences in mast cell development and function via androgen receptors.” Dr. Tang’s previous research experience was focused on neuroendocrinology, learning and memory, sex differences in brain development, and effects of androgen on muscular disease development.

Janelle Victoria LeMon, MS


PhD student

Janelle obtained her BS in Psychology with a minor in philosophy from Syracuse University in 2015. There, she studied the effects of neonatal maternal separation on mouse adolescent social behavior. In 2017, Janelle received her MS in Psychology-Behavioral Neuroscience from Michigan State University. Her MS thesis focused on the contribution of instrumental deficits in inhibitory control to rat binge eating phenotypes. In 2020, Janelle joined the GISBL as a PhD student. Her dissertation research aims to understand how neonatal stress programs adult mast cells toward hyperactivity in a sex-specific manner, with a focus on cellular bioenergetics. Additionally, she is studying the contribution of mast cells to hypothalamic-pituitary pathophysiology. In her free time, Janelle is involved with campus programs focused on supporting underrepresented minorities engaged in undergraduate and graduate research.

Carmen-Maria Garcia, BS


DVM-PhD dual-degree student

Carmen graduated from Florida Atlantic University’s Honors College in 2019 with a double major in Biology and Molecular Neuroscience. She began veterinary school the following fall, and officially joined Dr. Adam Moeser’s lab in January 2022. Her research primarily focuses on the interactive effects of biological sex, castration and early weaning stress on on functional development of the gastrointestinal immune system in pigs. In her free time, Carmen enjoys cooking, going to the gym, and flying down to visit family in Florida.

Natalia Duque Wilckens, DVM, PhD


Post-doctoral research associate, NARSAD Fellow

Dr. Natalia Duque-Wilckens joined the GISBL in September 2018 and will be co-mentored by Dr. AJ Robison (MSU Dept. of Physiology/Neuroscience). I trained in veterinary sciences at the University of Chile. During this time, I had the opportunity to work closely with different animal species in hospitals, farm, and laboratory settings, which raised a deep interest in understanding how affective states interact with other physiological variables to affect health and well-being. This led me to join the Animal Behavior Graduate program at UC Davis, where I used behavioral, pharmacological, and molecular approaches to identify neural circuits modulating social anxiety in California mice. Dr. Natalia Duque-Wilcken’s research in the GI Stress Biology Laboratory has focused on the impact of early life adversity and mast cells on neurobehvial development. She is also leading a research project investigating the role of the transcription factor FosB on mast cell function and was is a recipient of a NARSAD Fellowship. Dr. Duque-Wilckens will be joining the faculty at NC State University as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences in January 2023.

Lab Alumni

The Moeser Laboratory trainees have an outstanding track record of success obtaining highly competitive research and teaching positions in academia and industry.


Saru Ayyadurai, PhD – Post-Doctoral Research Associate (2014-2017). Saru’s post-doctoral research focused on the role of the mast cell-CRF1 receptors as modulators of stress-induced mast cell activation and associated disease pathoph ysiology. He is currently employed as a Senior Research Scientist ay Takeda Pharmaceuticals in Boston, MA.


Beth Overman Cauley, PhD – Dr. Overman was the first graduate student in the GISBL and received her PhD in Physiology in 2011. Dr. Overman’s dissertation research focused on the role of intestinal CRF signaling in stress-induced intestinal barrier dysfunction in porcine models. Beth is currently an Assistant Professor at Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC.


Amelia Gibson, PhD MBA – Amelia received her PhD in 2012. Her dissertation research focused on the role of mast cell CRF receptor subtypes, CRF1 and CRF2, in modulating mast cell degranulation and stress-induced intestinal permeability. In 2012, Amelia joined KeraFast, Inc. (Boston, MA) as Director of Business Development.


Liz Lennon, DVM PhD DACVIM – Liz received her PhD in 2015. Her dissertation research focused on the impact of ELA and mast cells in the IL10-/- murine model of spontaneous colitis. She was awarded an NIH K01 Award, and is currently an assistant professor of Small Animal Internal Medicine at the UPenn, College of Veterinary Medicine, where she is investigating the role of mast cells in inflammatory bowel disease.


Yihang Li, PhD, Dr. Li joined the GISBL in 2015 where he conducted his post-doctoral research focused on the regulation of and mechanisms by which stress regulates intestinal epithelial nutrient transporter function and role in nutrient partitioning in immune and adipose tissue. In 2018, Yihang was recruited to the University of Delaware where he is currently an Assistant Professor of Physiology in the Department of Animal Science.


Emily Mackey, BS, PhD- Dr. Mackey’s PhD dissertation research in the GSBL investigated the biological mechanisms of sex differences in mast cells, specifically the role of perinatal androgens in programming mast cell phenotype and severity of anaphylaxis (funded by an NIH F30 Award). Dr. Mackey is currently a veterinary pathology resident at Wake Forest University.


Nidia Maradiaga, MS, PhD - Nidia joined the GISBL in 2017, and received her PhD (2021) through the Comparative Medicine and Integrative Biology Program at the College of Veterinary Medicine at MSU. Nidia’s dissertation research in the GISBL was focused on epigenetic programming of mast cells in animal models of early-life adversity and brain-gut axis disorders.


Julia Medland, MS DVM– Julia received her MS degree in 2015 from the GISBL. Her MS thesis, entitled “Development of the Enteric Nervous System in a Porcine Model of Early Life Stress: Implications for Long-Term Intestinal Disease Susceptibility” focused on the impact of ELA on development of the enteric cholinergic nervous system expression and function. Dr. Medland Julia is currently veterinary oncology resident at the University of Minnesota.


Calvin Pohl, DVM PhD- Dr. Pohl earned his PhD from the GISBL in 2018. His dissertation research was focused on understanding the impact of psychological and infectious stressors on enteric cholinergic system development and function and its subsequent effects on GI barrier and immune function in murine and porcine models. Dr. Pohl went on to join Abbvie (Chicago, IL) as a post doc and was promoted to Senior Scientist II in 2020.


Mrigendra Rajput, BsVet, MS PhD- Dr. Rajput joined the GISBL in January 2015. His research in the GISBL focused on the influence of early life stress, associated with management practices in swine, on immune development and vaccine responsiveness. Dr. Rajput is currently an Assistant Professor of Microbiology at Dayton University.


Andrew Roney, BS, MS candidate - Andrew Roney is an MS student in the Comparative Medicine and Integrative Biology Program. He obtained his BS in Animal Science in 2019 from Michigan State University. He joined the GISBL as a MS graduate research assistant in 2019. His research focused on the impact of castration in pig on intestinal and systemic immune responses induced by weaning stress. Andrew is currently pursuing a PhD in Toxicology at MSU.


Neco Wilson, BS, MS- Neco Wilson received her MS degree in 2019 under the direction of Dr. Moeser in the CMIB Program at MSU. She obtained her BS degree from Michigan State University. Neco’s graduate research investigated how postnatal age influences intestinal mast cell activation triggered by weaning stress in piglets. Neco was an MSU BEST (Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training) Trainee, a facilitator for the Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP), and graduate student committee member and assistant editor for the Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP).