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Honglin Dong

Dr, FHEA, RNutr

    Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    Does vitamin D enhance COVID-19-relevant in vitro immune responses in leukocytes from Caucasian and South Asian individuals?

    • Source: Scopus
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    Personal profile


    Dr Honglin Dong

    I have a medicine degree in China (Southeast University, first class) and the passion to human nutrition brought me to the UK to study MSc degree in Human Nutrition and Metabolism at the University of Aberdeen in 2007, and received full scholarship for my PhD in Human Nutrition at the University of Reading in 2008.  I worked as a Postdoc Research Associate in Reading for 4 years after my PhD in 2011, involving different projects mainly in nutrition intervention trials before I took the lectureship in Human Nutrition at Coventry University in 2015.

    My PhD project investigated the effect of probiotics on immune function. It involved intensive lab work in cell culture, ELISA and flow cytometry and a randomised control trial (RCT) with older people. My postdoc work involved four nutritional intervention trials, investigating the effect of prebiotics and probiotics on the immune response to influenza vaccination in healthy young and old volunteers, postprandial effect of polyphenols and fibres in orange juice on the risk factors of cardiovascular disease in male adults, the effect of different dietary fibres on satiety in healthy volunteers, and the effect of milk proteins on cardiovascular function and risk factors of heart disease. I worked independently or in a team going through all of the procedures such as study design, recruiting volunteers, conducting trials, ethics application, data analysis and project report. I am also qualified and well-practiced for phlebotomy.

    In March 2018, I successfully secured a funding of £10000 through the internal Pump-prime grant scheme for a RCT titled "Influence of vitamin D supplement on immune function of the healthy elderly". In June 2020, I am successful in an application to the COVID19 Fully Funded Doctoral Studentship Scheme as the director of study (DOS) titled "Does vitamin D enhance COVID-19-relevant in vitro immune responses in leukocytes from Caucasian and South Asian individuals?".

    My research interests were mainly in randomised controlled trials investigating the effect of dietary intervention (e.g. dietary fibre, probiotics, supplementation etc.) on immune function, appetite and cardiovascular disease risks. Currently my research focuses on the influence of vitamin D supplementation on the immune response of flu vaccination in the elderly and how genetic variants of vitamin D influence vitamin D status in different ethnic backgrounds (e.g. Caucasians, African-Caribbean, South Asians).

    I became a research associate of the faculty research centre, CSELS at 0.4FTE, and lecturer at 0.6FTE in September 2018. I am a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy, a member of Nutrition Society UK and American Nutrition Society. I am a Registered Nutritionist (RNutr) of Association for Nutrition.

    I have published 14 papers since 2010.

    Education/Academic qualification

    Medicine, Degree, Southeast University

    Pathophysiology, The Academy of Military Medical Sciences

    Human Nutrition and Metabolism, MSc, University of Aberdeen

    Human Nutrition, Doctorate, University of Reading


    • QP Physiology
    • RB Pathology
    • RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine


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