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

  • 418 Citations
  • 10 h-Index

Research output per year

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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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Research Output

  • 418 Citations
  • 10 h-Index
  • 14 Article

Age-related Changes in the Natural Killer Cell Response to Seasonal Influenza Vaccination are not Influenced by a Synbiotic; a Randomised Controlled Trial

Przemska-Kosicka, A., Childs, C., Maidens, C., Dong, H., Todd, S., Gosney, M., Tuohy, K. & Yaqoob, P., 22 Mar 2018, In : Frontiers in Immunology. 9, 10 p., 591.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 13 Citations (Scopus)
    30 Downloads (Pure)

    Impact of ageing and a synbiotic on the immune response to seasonal influenza vaccination; a randomised controlled trial

    Enani, S., Przemska-Kosicka, A., Childs, C. E., Maidens, C., Dong, H., Conterno, L., Tuohy, K., Todd, S., Gosney, M. & Yaqoob, P., Apr 2018, In : Clinical Nutrition. 37, 2, p. 443-451 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 8 Citations (Scopus)
    7 Downloads (Pure)

    Addition of Orange Pomace to Orange Juice Attenuates the Increases in Peak Glucose and Insulin Concentrations after Sequential Meal Ingestion in Men with Elevated Cardiometabolic Risk

    Dong, H., Rendeiro, C., Kristek, A., Sargent, L. J., Saunders, C., Harkness, L., Rowland, I., Jackson, K. G., Spencer, J. P. E. & Lovegrove, J. A., 1 Jun 2016, In : Journal of Nutrition. 146, 6, p. 1197-1203 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 10 Citations (Scopus)

    Effect of a synbiotic on the response to seasonal influenza vaccination is strongly influenced by degree of immunosenescence

    Przemska-Kosicka, A., Childs, C. E., Enani, S., Maidens, C., Dong, H., Bin Dayel, I., Tuohy, K., Todd, S., Gosney, M. A. & Yaqoob, P., 15 Mar 2016, In : Immunity and Ageing. 13, 6

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 12 Citations (Scopus)
    16 Downloads (Pure)

    Flavanone-rich citrus beverages counteract the transient decline in postprandial endothelial function in humans: a randomised, controlled, double-masked, cross-over intervention study

    Rendeiro, C., Dong, H., Saunders, C., Harkness, L., Blaze, M., Hou, Y., Belanger, R., Corona, G., Lovegrove, J. & Spencer, J., 28 Dec 2016, In : British Journal of Nutrition. 116, 12, p. 1999-2010 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 14 Citations (Scopus)
    6 Downloads (Pure)