Contact Information

Dr. Tony Pescatore, Ph.D.
Interim Department Chair

900 W.P. Garrigus Building Lexington, KY 40546-0215

+1 (859) 257-2686

Bernhard Hennig

Bernhard Hennig

Bernhard Hennig

Bernhard Hennig


Instruction Research Faculty
501 Wethington Health Sciences Building Lexington, KY 40546

Last Revised: Oct 16th, 2023

Professional Biography

Professor of Nutrition and Toxicology

Dr. Hennig’s primary appointment is in the College of Agriculture. He also has academic appointments with the Center of Nutritional SciencesGraduate Center for Toxicology and the Center of Membrane Sciences, and he is a member of the Gill Heart Institute.

Dr. Hennig is the current Director of the University of Kentucky Superfund Research Center (

Dr. Hennig is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry (

Dr. Hennig also serves on the Editorial Boards for the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, and Nutrition Research. He is a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, and Fellow of the Council on Arteriosclerosis, American Heart Association. 

National Awards

University of Kentucky Research Professorship Award, 2013

Superfund Research Program Distinguished Lecturer (NIEHS/NIH), 2011

Thomas Poe Cooper Research Award for Outstanding Research in Agriculture, 2011

Charles E. Ragus Award for the Best JACN Scientific Research Paper of 2009

Fulbright Recipient, 2008; Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia

Helen LeBaron Hilton Award for Outstanding Leadership and Distinguished

Achievement; Iowa State University, 2006

Grace A. Goldsmith Award for Significant Current Achievements in the Field of Nutrition, 1995

Borden Award for Significant Research in Nutrition, 1993

Clintec Award for Excellence in the Science of Nutrition, 1993

Research Emphasis

Dr. Hennig’s research emphasis involves the utilization of tissue culture model systems in the study of nutrition and atherosclerosis, with emphasis in the role of nutrients on biochemical and molecular mechanisms of vascular endothelial cell function, injury and protection. His research has focused on the injurious effects of individual fats (e.g., omega-6 fatty acids) to vascular endothelial cells and protection against such injury by certain vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols. In addition, Dr. Hennig is studying molecular mechanisms of nutrient interactions with the cytotoxic effects of specific environmental contaminants, such as persistent organic pollutants, in relation to endothelial cell activation and the pathology of atherosclerosis. Results from these studies may suggest novel therapeutic interventions by further understanding "endothelial cell nutrition" as a key variable in the etiology of diseases such as atherosclerosis.

Recent Publications

(out of over 200)
For a complete list: PubMed

Eske K, Newsome B, Han SG, Murphy M, Bhattacharyya D, Hennig B. PCB 77 dechlorination products modulate proinflammatory events in vascular endothelial cells. Environ Sci Pollut Res (in press)

Petriello MC, Newsome B, Hennig B. Influence of nutrition in PCB-induced vascular inflammation. Environ Sci Pollut Res (in press)

Pu H, Tian J, András IE, Hayashi K, Flora G, Hennig B, Toborek M. HIV-1 TAT protein-induced alterations of ZO-1 expression are mediated by redox-regulated ERK1/2 activation. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab (in press)

Park M, Hennig B, Toborek M. Methamphetamine alters occludin expression via NADPH oxidase-induced oxidative insult and intact caveolae. J Cell Mol Med (in press)

Chen L, Choi JJ, Choi YJ, Hennig B, Toborek M. HIV-1 Tat-induced cerebrovascular toxicity is enhanced in mice with amyloid deposits. Neurobiol Aging (in press)


Rashid, CS, Carter LG, Hennig B, Pearson KJ.  Perinatal polychlorinated biphenyl 126 exposure alters offspring body composition.  J Pediatr Biochem, 3: 47-53, 2013.


Han SG, Newsome B, Hennig B. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles increase inflammatory responses in vascular endothelial cells. Toxicology, 306: 1-8, 2013.


Zheng Y, Morris A, Sunkara M, Toborek M, Hennig B.  EGCG stimulates Nrf2 and heme oxygenase-1 via caveolin-1 displacement. J Nutr Biochem, 23: 163-8, 2012.


Han SG, Han SS, Toborek M, Hennig B. EGCG protects endothelial cells against PCB 126-induced inflammation through inhibition of AhR and induction of Nrf2-regulated genes. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol, 261: 181-188, 2012. 


Hennig B, Ormsbee L, McClain C, Watkins BA, Blumberg B, Bachas L, Sanderson W, Thompson C, Suk WA. Nutrition can modulate the toxicity of environmental pollutants: Implications in risk assessment and human health. Environ Health Perspect, 120: 771-774, 2012.


Zhang B, Chen L, Choi JJ, Hennig B, Toborek M. Cerebrovascular toxicity of PCB153 is enhanced by binding to silica nanoparticles. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol, 7: 991-1001, 2012. 


Majkova Z, Layne J, Sunkara M, Morris AJ, Toborek M, Hennig B. Omega-3 fatty acid oxidation products prevent vascular endothelial cell activation by coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 251(1): 41-49, 2011.


Layne J, Majkova Z, Toborek M, Hennig B. Emerging Issues:  Caveolae: a regulatory platform for nutritional modulation of inflammatory diseases. J Nutr Biochem, 22: 807-811, 2011.


Huang W, András IE, Rha GB, Hennig B, Toborek M. PPARα and PPARγ protect against HIV-1-induced MMP-9 overexpression via caveolae-associated ERK and Akt signaling.  FASEB J, 25: 3979-3988, 2011.


Lehner C, Gehwolf R, Tempfer H, Krizbai I, Hennig B, Bauer HC, Bauer H. Oxidative stress and blood-brain barrier dysfunction under particular consideration of matrix metalloproteinases. Antioxid Redox Signal, 15: 1305-1323, 2011.


András IE, Eum SY, Huang W, Zhong Y, Hennig B, Toborek M. HIV-1-induced amyloid beta accumulation in brain endothelial cells is attenuated by simvastatin.  Mol Cell Neurosci, 43: 232-243, 2010.


Choi YJ, Arzuaga X, Kluemper CT, Toborek M, Hennig B. Quercetin blocks caveolae-dependent proinflammatory responses induced by co-planar PCBs. Environ Int 36(8):931-4, 2010.


Zhong Y, Hennig B, and Toborek M. Intact lipid rafts regulate HIV-1 Tat protein-induced activation of the Rho signaling and upregulation of p-glycoprotein in brain endothelial cells.  J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 30(3):522-33, 2010.


Seelbach M, Chen L, Powell A, Choi YJ, Zhang B, Hennig B, Toborek M. Polychlorinated biphenyls disrupt the blood-brain barrier integrity and promote brain metastasis formation. Environ Health Perspect 118(4):479-84, 2010.


Zheng Y, Toborek M. Hennig B. Epigallocatechin gallate-mediated protection against tumor necrosis factor-α-induced monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 expression is heme oxygenase-1 dependent. Metabolism 59(10):1528-35, 2010.


Huang W, Rha GB, Chen L, Seelback MJ, Zhang B, Andras IA, Bruemmer D, Hennig B, Toborek M.  Inhibition of telomerase activity alters tight junction protein expression and induces transendothelial passage of HIV-1-infected cells. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 298(4):H1136-45, 2010.


Majkova Z, Toborek M, Hennig B. The role of caveolae in endothelial cell dysfunction with a focus on nutrition and environmental toxicants. J Cell Mol Med 14(10):2359-70, 2010.


Choi YJ, Seelbach MJ, Pu H, Eum SY, Chen L, Zhang B, Hennig B, Toborek M.  Polychlorinated biphenyls disrupt intestinal integrity via NADPH oxidase-induced alterations of tight junction protein expression. Environ Health Perspect 118(7):976-81, 2010.


Han SG, Eum SY, Toborek M, Smart E, Hennig B. Polychlorinated biphenyl-induced VCAM-1 expression is attenuated in aortic endothelial cells isolated from caveolin-1 deficient mice. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 246(1-2):74-82, 2010.

Zhang B, Chen L, Swartz KR, Bruemmer D, Eum SY, Huang W, Seelbach M, Choi YJ, Hennig B, Toborek M. Deficiency of telomerase activity aggravates the blood-brain barrier disruption and neuroinflammatory responses in a model of experimental stroke.  J Neurosci Res 88(13):2859-68, 2010.

For Lab Personnel see web link: 


Ph.D., Nutrition, Iowa State, 1982

Contact Information

Dr. Tony Pescatore, Ph.D.
Interim Department Chair

900 W.P. Garrigus Building Lexington, KY 40546-0215

+1 (859) 257-2686