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
    • Calculated based on no. of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

    Research activity per year

    If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

    Personal profile


    Dr Honglin Dong

    I have a medicine degree in China (Southeast University, first class); my passion for human nutrition brought me to the UK to study for an MSc degree in Human Nutrition and Metabolism at the University of Aberdeen in 2007. I received a 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, mainly in nutrition intervention trials. I was appointed to a 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, the 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 approval, data analysis and project report. I am also qualified and well-practiced in phlebotomy.

    My research interests are 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 function and cardiovascular risks, and how genetic variants of vitamin D influence vitamin D status in different ethnic backgrounds (e.g. Caucasians, African-Caribbeans, 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 the Association for Nutrition.

    In March 2018, I received a funding of £10000 through an internal Pump-prime grant scheme for a RCT entitled "Influence of vitamin D supplements on the immune function of the healthy elderly". In June 2020, I was awarded a COVID19 Fully Funded Doctoral Studentship Scheme as the director of studies (DOS) entitled "Does vitamin D enhance COVID-19-relevant in vitro immune responses in leukocytes from Caucasian and South Asian individuals?". The PhD student has started the project since January 2021.

    I have published 14 papers since 2010.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

    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


    Dive into the research topics where Honglin Dong is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
    • 1 Similar Profiles


    Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or