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Yanbin Dong, MD, PhD

Professor of Medicine & Graduate Studies
Regents Professor

Contact Information 

Dr. Dong is a molecular geneticist and cardiologist with interests in elucidating the pathogenesis of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension by combined genetic, physiological, and clinical approaches.  His team performs cross-sectional, longitudinal, and interventional studies in the general population, community setting, and patients with clinical conditions.  A focus of his research is on vitamin D deficiency regarding epigenetics, cellular aging, inflammation, cardiometabolic disease, supplemental dosing and nutritional recommendation.  

St. George's University of London, UK 2000
Salt-Sensitive Hypertension

Royal Liverpool University Hospital, UK 1995

Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, China 1995
Molecular Genetics/Hypertension

Jinzhou Medical College, China 1985

China Medical University, China 1988
Master of Pathology

Effects of Vitamin D and Omega-3 supplementation on telomeres in VITAL 

1 R01HL131674-01 National Institute of Health (Dong & Zhu, Multi-PI)
August 19, 2016 through July 21, 2020
Role: Co-Investigator
The goal of this pilot study is to examine the beneficial effects of vitamin D and omega-3 supplementation on aging in a large randomized, placebo controlled clinical trial of VITAL. 

Vitamin D methylome and CVD risk profile

14GRNT20480211 AHA-Grant-in-Aid (Dong, PI) 
July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2016
Role: Principal Investigator

The goal of this project is to identify the differential methylation sites in African Americans with severe vitamin D deficiency by means of genome-wide approach (EWAS) and examine whether these methylation changes mediate cardiometabolic risk factors. 

Stress Related Mechanisms of Hypertension Risk 

P01 HL69999 Program Project Grant (Gregory Harshfield, PI)
July 1, 2002 through June 30, 2019
Role: Co-Principal Investigator of the Bioassay Core and Co-Investigator of Project 1

The major objectives of this program are to 1) Define mechanisms that promote hypertension induced by stress and impaired sodium and impaired sodium regulation, 2) Determine the regulation of these mechanisms in high-risk populations, 3) Translate findings between animal and human studies, and 4) Translate our research into patient populations. 

Novel Strategies for Prevention of Diabetic Vascular Dysfunction

1R24DK094765-01—NIH/NIDDK (R William Caldwell, PI)
Augusta 1, 2012 through June 1, 2015
Role: Co-Principal Investigator

Our working hypothesis is that increased arginase and indoleamine 2,3-Dioxygenase (IDO) activity cause vascular endothelial dysfunction and inflammatory injury by a positive feedback cycle of inflammatory cytokine production and oxidative stress.  We will use rodent models and translational experimental approaches to assess function of vascular and bone marrow derived cells in human subjects who are insulin resistant and pre-type 2 diabetic, in mice with obesity/type 2 diabetes and in cultured cells. 

Genetics of Stress Induced Hypertension in Black Youth 

5 R01 HL077230-2—NIH/NHLBI (Dong, PI)
April 5, 2006 and Augusta 31, 2012
Role: Principal Investigator

The major goal of this project is to determine the role of polymorphisms of genes involved in sodium-handling cascade on dynamic regulation of sodium homeostasis and blood pressure under stress in blacks.  


May 2015
Executive Leadership Excellence (ELE) program, a 9-month didactic and experiential leadership training and development initiative for leaders with challenging accountabilities and mandates, Augusta University (Augusta University)/Georgia Regents Health System (GRHS) 

February 2015
Regents’ Professor, Medical College of Georgia, MCG, Augusta University. 

May 2012
Outstanding Contributions to 30 Years of Success of the Georgia Prevention Institute by the Georgia Health Sciences University

May 2007
COSEHC Travel Award by the Inter-American Society of Hypertension and Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension

October 2006
Emerging Scientist Award, the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the MCG Research Institute (MCGRI), 2006, Georgia Health Sciences University

June 2006
Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA), the Council for High Blood Pressure Research

April 2006
Distinguished Faculty Award for Basic Science Research, the Faculty Senate of the School of Medicine, Medical College of Georgia


Dong Y. Pollock NK, Stallmann-Jorgensen I, Gutin B, Lan L, Chen T,  Keeton D, Petty KH, Holick M, and Zhu H.  Seasonal vitamin D status in black and white adolescents residing in the Southeastern United States: relation to fatness, physical activity and cardiovascular fitness. Pediatrics, 2010, 125(6): 1104-11.

Li K, Guo D, Zhu H, Hering-Smith KS, Hamm L, Ouyang J, and Dong Y. Interleukin-6 stimulates epithelial sodium channels in mouse cortical collecting duct cells. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 2010, 299: R590–R595.

Zhu H, Wang X, Gutin B, Keeton D, Thomas J, Stallmann-Jorgensen I, Bundy V, Snieder H, Harst P vander, and Dong Y. Leukocyte telomere length in healthy white and black adolescents: relations to race, sex, adiposity, adipokines and physical activity. Journal of Pediatrics, 2011 Feb;158(2):215-20.

Lagou V, Liu G, Zhu H, Stallmann-Jorgensen I, Gutin B, Dong Y and Snieder H. Lifestyle and socioeconomic-status modify the association of ADRB2 and NOS3 with general and central adiposity in European-American and African-American Youth.  Obesity, 2010, Mar;19(3):595-603.

Dong Y, Stallmann-Jorgensen IS, Pollock NK, Harris RA, Keeton DK, Huang Y, Li K, Bassali R, Guo D, Thomas J, Pierce GL, White J, Holick MF, and Zhu H. A 16-week randomized clinical trial of 2,000 IU daily vitamin D3 supplementation in black adolescents: 25-hydroxyvitamin D, body mass index, and arterial stiffness. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2010 Oct;95(10):4584-91 

Harris RA, Pedersen-White J, Guo DH, Stallmann-Jorgensen I, Keeton D, Huang Y, Shah Y, Zhu HD, and Dong Y. Vitamin D3 supplementation for 16 weeks improves flow-mediated dilation in overweight African American adults.  American Journal of Hypertension, 2011,24:557-562. (This article was accompanied by Reviewer Commentary: Vitamin D supplementation and cardiovascular outcomes in blacks. Yeboah J, Nyinaku P, 2011, May; 24:505.)

Gutin B, Inger Stallmann-Jorgensen I, Le A, Johnson M and Dong Y. Relations of diet and physical activity to bone mass and height in black and white adolescents. Pediatric Report, 2011 Jun 16;3(2):e10. doi: 10.4081/pr.2011.e10.

Wang XL, Zhu HD, Snieder H, Su S, Munn D, Harshfield G, Maria B, Dong Y, Treiber F, Gutin B, and Shi HD. Obesity related methylation changes in human leukocyte DNA. BMC Medicine, 2010;8:87,1-8.

Pollock NK, Bernard PJ, Gutin B, Davis CL, Zhu H, and Dong Y. Adolescent obesity, bone mass, and cardiometabolic risk factors. Journal of Pediatrics, Jan 2011,158:727-734. (This article was accompanied by Editorial: Adiposity and Bone: The Influence of Subcutaneous versus Visceral Fat and Insulin Resistance, Heidi J. Kalkwarf, 2011, 158: 698-700) 

Bundy V, Johnson M, Gutin B, Zhu HD, Stallmann-Jorgensen I, and Dong Y. Adiponectin moderates the relationship between adiposity and leptin in adolescents regardless of gender or race.  Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2011;24(3-4):119-24.

Liu G, Zhu H, Dong Y, Podolsky RH, Treiber FA, Snieder H. Influence of common variants in FTO and near INSIG2 and MC4R on growth curves for adiposity in African- and European-American youth.  Eur J Epidemiol, 2011 Jun;26(6):463-73. Epub 2011 May 5.

Fox ER, Young JH…….Dong Y, Snieder H, Wang X, Zhu H…… van Duijn CM, Newton-Cheh C. International Consortium for Blood Pressure Genome-wide Association Studies (ICBP-GWAS). Association of genetic variation with systolic and diastolic blood pressure among African Americans: the Candidate Gene  Association Resource study. Hum Mol Genet, 2011 Jun 1;20(11):2273-84. 

Ehret G, Munroe P………Dong Y, Snieder H, Wang X, Zhu H……Caulfield M, Johnson T. International Consortium for Blood Pressure Genome-wide Association Studies (ICBP-GWAS). Genetic variants in novel pathways influence blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk. Nature, 2011; 478: 103-109.

Zhu H, Guo D, Li K, Pederson-White J, Stallmann-Jorgensen I, Huang Y, Parikh S, Liu K, and Dong Y. Increased telomerase activity and vitamin D supplementation in overweight African Americans.  International Journal of Obesity, 2011 Jun; 36(6):805-9. 

Gutin B, Harris R, Howe CA, Johnson MH,  Zhu H and Dong Y. Cardiometabolic biomarkers in young black girls: relations to body fatness and aerobic fitness, and effects of a randomized physical activity trial. International Journal of Pediatrics, 2011,October 12.doi:10.1155/2011/219268

Gregoski M, Barnes V, Tingin M, Dong Y, Zhu H and Treiber F. Deferential impact of stress reduction programs upon ambulatory blood pressure among African American adolescents: influences of endothelin-1 gene and chronic stress. International Journal of Hypertension, 2012, 2012:510291. doi: 10.1155/2012/510291

Parikh S, Guo De-huang, Pollock NK, Petty K, Potter L, Bhagatwala J,Gutin B, Houk C, Haidong Zhu H, and Dong Y.Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations are correlated with cardiometabolic risk among American black and white adolescents living in a year-round sunny climate. Diabetes Care, 2012, 35:1133-1138.

Parikh S, Pollock NK, Gutin B, Zhu H, and Dong Y. Adolescent fiber consumption is associated with visceral fat and inflammatory markers. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2012 Aug;97(8):E1451-7.

Pollock NK, Bundy V, Kanto W, Davis CL, Bernard PJ, Zhu H, Gutin B, and Dong Y. Greater fructose  consumption is associated with cardiometabolic risk markers and visceral adiposity in adolescents. Journal of Nutrition, 2012 Feb;142(2):251-7. 

Alvareza J, Gowera B, Calhounb D, Juddc S, Dong Y, Dudenbostel T, Scholl J, and Ashraf A. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and ethnic differences in arterial stiffness and endothelial function.  J Clin Med Res 2012;4(3):197-205.

Tian J, Wang J, Li Y, Villarreal D , Carhart R, Dong Y, Wen Y, and Liu K. Endothelial Function in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes Receiving Early Intensive Insulin Therapy. American Journal of Hypertension, 2012 Dec;25(12):1242-8.

Pierce G, Zhu HD, Darracott K, Edet I, Bhagatwala J, Huang Y and Dong Y. Arterial stiffness and pulse pressure amplification in overweight/obese African American adolescents: relation with higher systolic and pulse pressure. American Journal of Hypertension, 2013 Jan;26(1):20-6

Zhu H, Chao J, Kotak I, Guo DH, Parikh S, Bhagatwala J, Dong YT, Patel S, Houk C, Chao L, and Dong  Y. Plasma kallistatin is associated with adiposity and cardiometabolic risk in apparently healthy African American adolescents. Metabolism, 2013 May;62(5):642-6.

Zhu H, Wang X, Shi H, Su S, Harshfield G, Gutin B, Snieder H, and Dong Y. A genome-wide methylation study of severe vitamin D deficiency in African American adolescents. Journal of Pediatrics, 2013 May;162(5):1004-9 

Wang X, Falkner B, Zhu H, Shi H,  Su S, Xu XJ, Sharma AK, Dong Y, Treiber F, Gutin B, Harshfield G, and Snieder H. A genome-wide methylation study on essential hypertension in young African American Males. PLOS ONE, 2013;8(1):e53938. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone. 0053938. Epub 2013 Jan 10.

Gregoski M, Buxbaum S, Kapuku G, Dong Y, Zhu HD, Davis M, Gonto K,  and Treiber F. Interactive influences of ethnicity, endothelin-1 gene, and everyday discrimination upon nocturnal ambulatory blood pressure. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 2013, Jun;45(3):377-86

NeSmith E, Medeiros R, Ferdinand C, Hawkins M, Holsten S, Dong Y,  Zhu HD (the Trauma Interdisciplinary Group for Research). “It takes a village” to raise research productivity:  Impact of a Trauma Interdisciplinary Group for Research (TIGR) at an urban, Level 1 trauma center. Journal of Trauma, 2013 Jul 1;75(1). doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e31829383c4

Guo DH, Parikh S, Chao J, Pollock N, Wang X, Snieder H, Navis G, Wilson J, Bhagatwala J, Zhu HD, and Dong Y. Urinary prostasin excretion is associated with adiposity in non-hypertensive African American adolescents. Pediatric Research, 2013, 74(2):206-10

Codd V, Nelson C…Dong Y, Guo DH, Wang XL, Zhu H,...Spector TD, Harst P, and Samani NJ. Identification of seven loci affecting mean telomere length and their association with disease. Nature Genetics, 2013, Mar 27;45(4):422-427.

Lucas R, Parikh S, Sridhar S, Guo DH, Bhagatwala J, Dong YT, Caldwell R, Mellor A, Caldwell W, Zhu HD, and Dong Y. Cytokine profiling of young overweight and obese female African American adults with prediabetes. Cytokine, 2013;64:310-315.

Bhagatwala J, Harris RA, Parikh S, Zhu HD, Huang Y, Kotak I, Seigler N, Pierce GL, Egan BM, and Dong Y. The epithelial sodium channel inhibition by amiloride on blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk in young prehypertensives. Journal of Clinical Hypertension, 2014, 16 (1): 47-53

Zhu HD, Pollock N,  Kotak I, Bernard G, Wang, XL, Bhagatwala J,  Parikh S,  Harshfield Gregory and Dong Y. Dietary Sodium, Adiposity, and Inflammation in Healthy Adolescents. Pediatrics, 2014 133:e635-642.  ePub online: February 3, 2014 (doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-1536). (Press release).

Su S, Zhu H, Xu X, Wang X, Dong Y, Kapuku G, Treiber F, Gutin B, Harshfield G, Snieder H, Wang X. DNA methylation of the LY86 gene is associated with obesity, insulin resistance and inflammation. Twin Res Hum Genet. 2014 Apr 15:1-9.

Zhu HD, Bhagatwala J, Parikh S, and Dong Y. The role of ENaC and ENaC blockade in dysfunctional vascular endothelium (invited review). Current Hypertension Reports, 2014, in press.

Zhu H, Bhagatwala J, Polloc NK, Gutin B, Thomas J, Parikh S, Harshfield GA, and Dong Y. High sodium intake is associated with short telomere length in overweight and obese adolescents. International Journal of Obesity. 2015  Apr 14. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2015.51. [Epub ahead of print]

Zhu H, He FJ, and Dong Y. Dietary sodium, adiposity and inflammation in children and adolescents. (invited review) Functional Food Reviews. 2015; 7(1): 31-40.

Bhagatwala J, Zhu HD, Parikh S, Guo DH, Kotak I, Huang Y, Havens R, Pham M, Afari E, Kim S, Cutler C, Pollock NK, Dong YT, Raed A and Dong Y. Dose and time responses of vitamin D biomarkers to monthly vitamin D 3 supplementation in overweight/obese African Americans with suboptimal vitamin d status: a placebo controlled randomized clinical trial. BMC Obesity 2015, 2:27  doi:10.1186/s40608-015-0056-2

Zhu HD,  Bhagatwala J, Huang Y, Parikh S, Raed A, Gutin B, Harshfield GA, and Dong Y.
Race/ethnicity-specific association of vitamin D and global DNA methylation: cross-sectional and interventional findings. PLOS ONE , 2016 Apr 6;11(4):e0152849. doi: 10.1371

Steward DL, Dong Y, Zhu H, Harshfield GA. Angiotensin II-mediated increases in Damage Associated Molecular Patterns during acute mental stress: A letter to the editor regarding Cohen et al. Psychosomatic Medicine (PSY16-80), 2016, in press


  Campus (HS-1705)
  1120 15th Street, Augusta, GA 30912
  706-721-5014       706-721-7150