Hongwei Si

Hongwei Si
Research Assistant Professor
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences                                         
College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences








Contact Information:

Office Location: 111-E CARP Building
Telephone:  615-963-5443
FAX: 615-963-5888
Email: hsi@tnstate.edu

Research Areas

Identification and characterization of bioactive food compounds in the prevention of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes, and prolong of healthy lifespan.

Understanding the comprehensive and integrative relationship among nutrients, lifestyle and health.

Development of preventive/therapeutic strategies and approaches to treat and prevent chronic diseases and strengthen health life.

Most Significant Publications (since 2006)

1.  Si Hongwei, Liu D. (2014) Dietary anti-aging phytochemicals and mechanisms associated with prolonged survival. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 25(6):581-91  

2.  Nallasamy P, Si Hongwei, Velayutham A, Pan D, Fu Y, Brooke E, Shah H, Zhen W, Zhu H, Liu D, Li Y, Jia Z. (2014) Sulforaphane reduces vascular inflammation in mice and prevents TNF-alpha-induced monocyte adhesion to primary endothelial cells through interfering with the NF-kappa B pathway. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 25(8):824-33

3.  Si Hongwei, Wyeth R, Liu D. (2014) Flavonoid luteolin increases vasodilatation through promoting the activity of nitric oxide synthase. European Journal of Nutrition. 53(1):269-75

4.  Jia Z, Si Hongwei, Zhu H, Li Y, Saha S, Misra HP, Liu D. (2013) Isoflavone genistein, at physiological concentrations, inhibits TNF-alpha-induced endothelial adhesion molecule expression and monocyte adhesion regardless of its antioxidant activity. International Journal of Cardiology. 168(3):2637-45

5.  Si Hongwei, Liu D. (2012) Phytoestrogen genistein up-regulates human endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression through activation of PKA/CREB pathway. Endocrinology. 153 (7):3190-3198

6.  Si Hongwei, Velayutham A, Liu D. (2012). Genistein prevents endothelial dysfunction in db/db mice by reducing vascular inflammation. Journal of Nutrition. 142(4):724-730

7.  Velayutham A, Si Hongwei, Liu D. (2012). Epigallocatechin gallate reduces vascular inflammation in db/db mice possibly through an NF-κB-mediated mechanism. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. 56(9): 1424-1432

8.  Wang A, Si Hongwei, Liu D, Jiang H (2012) Butyrate activates the cAMP-protein kinase A-cAMP response element-binding protein signaling pathway in caco-2 cells. Journal of Nutrition. 142(1):1-6

9.  Si Hongwei, Fu Z, Babu PV, Zhen W, Leroith T, Meaney MP, Voelker KA, Jia Z, Grange RW, Liu D. (2011) Dietary epicatechin promotes survival of obese diabetic mice and drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Nutrition. 141(6):1095-1100

10.  Guri, AJ, Hontecillas R, Ferrer G, Casagran O, Liu D, Si Hongwei and Bassaganya-Riera J. (2010) Abscisic acid ameliorates atherosclerosis by suppressing macrophage and CD4(+) T cell recruitment into the aortic wall. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 21(12):1178-1185

11.  Si Hongwei. Liu D. (2009) Genistein protects against tumor necrosis factor-alpha-induced apoptosis of human endothelial cells through activation of p38 MAP kinase. Apoptosis. 14:66-76

12.  Si Hongwei. Liu D. (2008) Genistein, a soy phytoestrogen, up-regulates the expression of human endothelial nitric oxide synthase and lowers blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Journal of Nutrition. 138:297-304.

13.  Guri, AJ, Hontecillas R, Ferrer G, Casagran O, Wankhade U, Noble A.M, Eizirik D, Ortis F, Cnop M, Liu D, Si Hongwei and Bassaganya-Riera J. (2008) The loss of PPAR γ in immune cells abrogates the ability of abscisic acid to improve insulin sensitivity through a mechanism involving suppression of MCP-1 expression and macrophage infiltration into white adipose tissue. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 19(4):216-228

14.  Si Hongwei. Liu D. (2007) Phytochemical genistein in the regulation of vascular function: new insights. Current Medicinal Chemistry. 14 (24):2581-2589

15.  Liu D, Si Hongwei, Reynolds KA, Wei Z, Jia Z, Dillon JS. (2007) Dehydroepiandrosterone protects vascular endothelial cells against apoptosis through a Gi-protein-dependent activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase/Akt and regulation of anti-apoptotic bcl-2 expression. Endocrinology. 148(7):3068-3076

16.  Guri AJ, Hontecillas R, Si Hongwei, Liu D, Bassaganya-Riera J. (2007) Dietary abscisic acid ameliorates glucose tolerance and obesity-related inflammation in db/db mice fed high-fat diets. Clinical Nutrition. 26(1):107-116

17.  Liu D, Zhen W, Yang Z, Carter JD, Si Hongwei, Reynolds KA. (2006) Genistein acutely stimulates insulin secretion in pancreatic beta-cells through a cAMP-dependent protein kinase pathway. Diabetes. 55(4):1043-1050


1.  American ginseng and childhood obesity: the effects and mechanisms in mice and preadipocytes.

TENX-2011-0255 (NIFA/USDA) (PI) 10/1/2011-9/30/2014
The goal of this study is to determine the anti-obesity effect of American ginseng and its bioactive compounds

2.  How does cocoa epicatechin improves vascular health and prolongs lifespan?

TENX-1103-FS (NIFA/USDA) (PI) 1/1/ 2011-8/31/2014
The goal of this study is to investigate the anti-aging effect of cocoa epicatechin and understand the beneficial effects on vascular health

3.  N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and human health and disease.

NC_TEMP1039 (USDA) (Co-PI) 10/1/2012-9/30/2017
The goal of this study is to test the beneficial effects of N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on human chronic diseases including diabetes, obesity and heart diseases both at clinical and basic


NUFS 4520-Clinical Nutrition
NUFS 4110 Advanced Human Nutrition (Undergraduate level)
NUFS 4520-Clinical Nutrition

Current Graduate Students:

Longyun Zhang
Bulbul Ahmed
Lijuan Zhang

Recent Honors and Awards:

Outstanding Young Researcher, College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, Tennessee State University, 2013
Hepler Fellowship, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2007
John Lee Pratt Fellowship, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2004 - 2007


D.V.M. –Gansu Agricultural University
M.Sc (Microbiology and Immunology - Gansu Agricultural University
Ph.D. ( Human Nutrition) – Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Date joined staff: 2010

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