Zixuan

Profile

I am optimistic and easy to get along with. I love cooking and singing. I got my BSc degree in Food Science and Engineering and then I moved on to the master study at University of Leeds in Food Science. After graduation, I took a 6-mouth internship in the cosmetics and health care products department, Shandong Institute for Food and Drug Control. During the internship, I recognised my main interests are nutrtion and biochemistry, which made me decide to apply for a PhD position for further research study.

Research interests

My PhD project will mainly focus on the mechanisms behind the role of vitamin D in NAFLD pathogenesis. The overall aim is to test the hypotheses that vitamin D and its regulated microRNAs (miRNAs) contribute to NAFLD disease progression. In the first stage, the immortalised hepatic stellate cell (HSC) line will be cultured with vitamin D and/or fatty acids. Effects on vitamin D target miRNAs and the cellular proteome as well as metabolic status will be assessed. These results will be confirmed and expanded in the primary HSCs, where we will screen for novel D3 target miRNAs, isolated and expanded from liver resections obtained in collaboration with Professor TooGood. Lastly, in addition to in vitro experiments, we will use the UK biobank to assess diet/lifestyle, vitamin D status and SNP variants in vitamin D metabolism in the UK population in relation to liver disease. The results of this work will yield significant understanding of the molecular and regulatory mechanisms of vitamin D metabolism in both healthy and fatty livers.

Qualifications

  • BSc Food Science and Engineering, Qilu University of Technology
  • MSc Food Science, University of Leeds