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Faculty and Staff

There are 15 gastroenterologists on staff who supervise subspecialty fellows in caring for patients in the areas of inpatient, outpatient and procedural services. The GI and IRL teams also include NPs, advanced practice nurses, PAs, RNs and inpatient and outpatient dieticians, as well as two clinical psychologists.

Ian Leibowitz, M.D. | Division Chief
Dr. Leibowitz has a special interest in IBD and quality improvement. He came to Children’s National with years of experience as chief of pediatric gastroenterology at INOVA Fairfax Hospital and as medical director of our affiliate subspecialty clinic, Pediatric Specialists of Virginia.

Vahe Badalyan, M.D., M.B.A. 
Dr. Badaylan graduated from Children's National GI fellowship program, during which time he completed research training at the National Institutes of Health. He was previously chief resident of pediatrics at INOVA Fairfax Hospital and has taken the lead on several technology-related initiatives to improve the delivery of patient care.

Ali Bader, M.D.
Dr. Bader's primary area of expertise is his clinical skill and experience as a general GI practitioner and expert proceduralist. Dr. Bader also helps precept trainees in fellow’s continuity clinic.

Shayna Coburn, Ph.D.
Dr. Coburn is a licensed psychologist and assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She has been an integral part of the division’s Comprehensive Celiac Disease Program and has a special interest in patient-physician communication.

Carmelo Cuffari, M.D. | Director, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program
Dr. Cuffari leads the multidisciplinary Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic, bringing with him many years of experience in IBD. Dr. Cuffari also has a special interest in medical education, having served for some time as a fellowship program director. 

Anil Darbari, M.B.B.S., M.D., MBA | Assistant Division Chief and Director of the Comprehensive Motility Program
Dr. Darbari joined our faculty in 2010 and has developed our Comprehensive Motility Program. He is one of a few pediatric experts experienced in the full spectrum of motility procedures, and is the GI lead in the multidisciplinary Colorectal Clinic. 

Christopher Hayes, M.D.
Dr. Hayes joined our faculty in 2021, after having been in private practice for several years. He has been particularly active in fellowship education, and will be helping to oversee endoscopic training during our new fellows’ orientation.

Jyoti Mani, M.B.B.S.
Dr. Mani is a graduate of our fellowship program, having focused her research on the neonatal microbiome. She is an active clinician in the general GI clinic and Intestinal Rehabilitation/Liver inpatient service.

Diana Moya, M.D.
Dr. Moya is an integral member of several of our fellows’ scholarly oversight committees, and a physician lead in the IBD multidisciplinary clinic.

Lisa Opipari-Arrigan, Ph.D.
Dr. Opipari-Arrigan is a licensed clinical and pediatric psychologist with a special interest in healthcare communication.

Teena Sebastian, M.D.
Dr. Sebastian attends on the inpatient Intestinal Rehabilitation/Liver service, and evaluates general GI patients in the clinic, with a focus on IBD.

Sona Sehgal, M.D. | Inpatient Medical Unit Director
Dr. Sehgal is the GI lead in our multidisciplinary Aerodigestive Clinic. She also has a special interest in pancreatitis.

Clara Torres, M.D. | Director, Intestinal Rehabilitation/Transplant/Liver Program
Dr. Torres has developed a national and international reputation as an expert in intestinal rehabilitation and transplantation. She has developed an active clinical research program with a special focus on short bowel syndrome.

Bernadette Vitola, M.D.
Dr. Vitola is board-certified in Pediatric Transplant Hepatology, and is on staff at both Children's National and Georgetown University. She leads the Liver and Transplant Consult service at Children's National, and regularly precepts fellows in our Liver Clinic.

Jaime Liou Wolfe, M.D. | Fellowship Program Director
Dr. Wolfe has served as fellowship program director since 2012. She completed a chief residency in pediatrics and has continued her interest in education overseeing the division's resident and medical student rotations.

Nada Yazigi, M.D.
Dr. Yazigi is  is board-certified in Pediatric Transplant Hepatology, and provides clinical care at both Children's National and Georgetown University. She is actively involved in precepting fellows in the Liver and Transplant clinics, and is close collaborator in managing or liver and small bowel transplant patients.