Dr. Haidong Zhu

Dr. Haidong Zhu

Haidong Zhu, PhD

Assistant Professor

Contact Info

Phone: (706) 721-5470
Fax: (706) 721-7150
Email: hzhu@augusta.edu
Office: HS-1640

Education and Training

St. George's Hospital Medical School, Univ of London, UK 2002

Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 1997
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Jinzhou Medical College, China 1989

China Medical University, Shenyang, China 1986

Research Interests

  • Identification of genetic and epigenetic factors contributing to the development of salt-sensitive hypertension, obesity and diabetes.
  • Inflammation, salt-sensitivity and cardiometabolic disorders.
  • Healthy aging and disease: role of telomere biology in cardiometabolic disorders.


  • NHLBI P01 HL69999Harshfield (PI) 03/01/08 - 02/28/13

“Stress-induced mechanisms of hypertension risk”

This program project application consist of an integrated multidisciplinary program including 4 closely related projects examining the roles of stress, lifestyle behaviors and genetic polymorphisms in the development of preclinical measures of essential hypertension.

Role: Co-Investigator


  • 3 RO1 HL087923-03S1 Davis (PI) 04/01/10 � 07/31/13

Exercise & non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in overweight children”

The specific aims will examine the cross-sectional associations of liver injury (including liver fat, visceral fat, and markers of inflammation and fibrosis) with risk for atherosclerosis (arterial stiffness) and other cardiovascular risk factors, and will test the effect of an after-school exercise program on these measures.

Role: Co-Investigator

  • 1R01HL105689-01 Wang (PI) 04/01/11 � 3/31/16

“Epigenetic Basis of Obesity Induced Cardiovascular Disease and Type 2 Diabetes”

We aim to identify the differential methylation profiles between obese cases and lean controls and further evaluate whether these methylation changes are involved in the pathogenesis of obesity related co-morbidities.

Role: Co-Investigator

  • 1R01HL104125-01 Wang (PI) 8/1/11 � 7/31/16 NIH/NHLBI “A genome wide methylation study on essential hypertension in Caucasians”

We hypothesize that changes in DNA methylation of leukocytes are involved in the pathogenesis of EH and aim to identify these differentially methylation sites using a multi-step genome wide approach.

Role: Co-Investigator


  • DODI Clinical Research Award Dong and Houk (Co-PIs) 05/01/11-07/01/13

Diabetes & Obesity Discovery Institute, Georgia Health Sciences University

“Identifications and trajectories of biomarkers predicting the risk of developing pre-diabetes and/or diabetes in a high-risk group of obese and overweight in youth and adults: systems biology approach”.

Role: Co-Investigator



Select Publications Pub Med

Ge D*, Zhu H*, Huang Y, Treiber FA, Harshfield GA, Snieder H and Dong Y. Multilocus analyses of RAAS gene polymorphisms on blood pressure at rest and during behavioral stress in young normotensives. Hypertension, 2007 Jan;49(1):107-112. (The first two authors contribute equally to the work)

Podolsky RH, Barbeau P, Kang HS, Zhu H, Treiber FA, and Snieder H. Candidate genes and growth curves for adiposity in African and European American youth. International Journal of Obesity. 2007, 31(10): 1491-1499.

Zhu H, Yan W, Ge D, Treiber FA, Harshfield GA, Kapuku G, Snieder H and Dong Y. Cardiovascular characteristics in American youth with prehypertension. American Journal of Hypertension. 2007, 20 (10): 1051-1057.

Zhu H, Yan W, Ge D, Treiber FA, Harshfield GA, Kapuku G, Snieder H and Dong Y. Relationships of cardiovascular phenotypes with healthy weight, at risk of overweight, and overweight in US youths. Pediatrics. 2008,121:115-122.[Note: Article of the week by the International Pediatric Hypertension Association (IPHA)].

Dodani S, Dong Y, Zhu H, George V. Can novel Apo-A1 polymorphisms be responsible for low HDL in South Asian immigrants? Indian Journal Human Genetics. 2008, 14(1): 9-15.

Zhu H, Guo D, Li K, Yan W, Tan Y, Wang X, Treiber FA, Chao J, Snieder H and Dong Y. Prostasin: a possible candidate gene for human hypertension. American Journal of Hypertension. 2008, 21(9):1028-1033.

Zhu H, Tan Y, Yan W, Kapuku G, Treiber FA, Harshfield GA, Snieder H and Dong Y. Adhesion molecule polymorphisms and pulse wave velocity in American Youth. Twin Research and Human Genetics. 2008, 11(5): 517-523.

Ge D, Su S, Zhu H, Dong Y, Wang X, Harshfield GA, Treiber FA and Snider H. Stress-induced sodium excretion: a new heritable intermediate phenotype to study the early genetic etiology of hypertension? Hypertension 2009, 53(2):262-269. Epub 2008 Dec 22.

Zhu H, Chao J, Guo D, Li K, Huang Y, Hawkins K, Wright N, Stallman I,Yan W, Harshfield GA and Dong Y. Urinary Prostasin: A Possible Biomarker for Renal Pressure Natriuresis in black adolescents. Pediatr Res. 2009 Apr;65(4):443-6.

Harshfield GA, Dong Y, Kapuku, GK, Zhu H, Hanevold CD. Stress-induced sodium retention and hypertension: a review and hypothesis. Current Hypertension Reports, 2009, 11:29-34.

Petty KH, Li K , Dong Y, Fortenberry J, Stallmann-Jorgensen I, Guo D, and Zhu H. Sex dimorphisms in inflammatory markers and adiposity in African American youth. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity 2010 Aug;5(4):327-33.

Dong Y. Pollock N, Stallmann-Jotgensen I, Gutin B, Lan L, Chen T, Keeton D, Petty KH, Holick M, and Zhu H. Low 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels in Adolescents: Race, Season, Adiposity, Physical Activity, and Fitness. Pediatrics 2010 Jun;125(6):1104-11.

Liu G*, Zhu H*, Lagou V, Gutin B, Barbeau P, Treiber FA, Dong Y, Snieder H. Common variants near MC4R are associated with general and visceral adiposity in European- and African American youth. Journal of Pediatrics, 2010 Apr;156(4):598-605.e1.

Liu G, Zhu H, Lagou V, Gutin B, Stallmann-Jotgensen I, Treiber FA, Dong Y, Snieder H. FTO variant rs9939609 is associated with adiposity but not with energy intake or expenditure in European- and African- American youth. BMC Medical Genetics, 2010, Apr 9;11(1):57.

Li K, Guo D, Zhu H, Hering-Smith KS, Chao J, Dong Y. Interleukin-6 stimulates epithelial sodium channels via proteolysis in the mouse cortical collecting duct cells. American Journal of Physiology- Regulatory Integrative Comparative Physiology. 2010 Aug;299(2):R590-5.

Pollock NK, Bernard PJ, Wenger K, Misra S, Gower BA, Allison JD, Zhu H, Davis CL. Lower bone mass in prepubertal overweight children with pre-diabetes. J Bone Miner Res. 2010 Jul 16.

Dong Y, Stallmann-Jorgensen I, Pollock N, Harris RA, Keeton DK, Huang Y, Li K, Bassali R, Guo D, Thomas J, Pierce GL, Pederson-White J, Holick M, 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.

Zhu H, Wang X, Gutin B, Davis CL, Keeton D, Thomas J, Stallmann-Jorgensen I, Mooken G, Bundy V, Snieder H, Harst P van der, 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.

Wang X, Zhu H, Snieder H, Su S, Munn D, Harshfield G, Maria BL, Dong Y, Treiber F, Gutin B, Shi H. Obesity related methylation changes in DNA of peripheral blood leukocytes. BMC Medicine, 2010 Dec 21;8:87.

Zhu H, Belcher M, van der Harst P. Healthy aging and disease: role for telomere biology? (invited review) Clinical Science (London). 2011Jan 28;120(10):427-440.

Lagou V, Liu G, Zhu H, Stallmann-Jotgensen 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 (Silver Spring). 2011 Mar;19(3):595-603.

Pollock NK, Bernard PJ, Gutin B, Davis CL, Zhu H and Dong Y. Adolescent obesity, bone mass, and cardiometabolic risk factors. J Pediatr (2011) 158:727-734.

Harris RA, Pedersen-White J, Guo D, Stallmann-Jorgensen, Keeton DK, Huang, Y, Shah Y, Zhu H 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.

Bundy V, Johnson M, Gutin B, Zhu H, 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 R, 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.

International Consortium for Blood Pressure Genome-wide Association Studies (ICBP-GWAS). Fox ER, Young JH, Li Y, Dreisbach AW, Keating BJ, Musani SK, Dong Y, Snieder H, Wang X, Zhu H, Psaty BM, Abecasis GR, Elliott P, van Duijn CM, Newton-Cheh C. Genetic variants in novel pathways influence blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk. Nature 2011;478:103-109.

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. Human Molecular Genetics. 2011;20:2273-2284.

Zhu H, Guo D, Li K, Pederson-White J, Stallmann-Jorgensen I, Huang Y, Parikh S, Liu K, Dong Y. Increased telomerase activity and vitamin D supplementation in overweight African Americans. International Journal of Obesity. 2012, 36(6):805-9.


  • 1993 - “Excellent Lecturer”, Jinzhou Medical College, China
  • 1997 - “Best PhD Student”, Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 1999-2001 Senior Research Fellowship awarded by the Hypertension Trust, UK
  • April 2006 - “Article of the week” by the International Pediatric Hypertension Association (IPHA)
  • November 2007 - "Emerging Scientist Award” by the Medical College of Georgia Research Institute (MCGRI)