Yaw (Chris) Siow

Research Scientist

My research supports the Vision and Mission of AAFC:

(1) Evidence-based agri-food: Elucidation of the biochemical and molecular mechanisms of extracts or compounds isolated from agri-food and herbal medicine, using cell culture and animal models; (2) Analyses of food and natural health products by chromatographic fingerprinting and bioassays; (3) Knowledge translation and promotion of science-based Agri-food and herbal medicine in prevention and treatment.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Current research and/or projects

  • Defining new health attributes of Canadian lingonberry for domestic and emerging markets
  • Enhancing the sustainable development of lingonberry with health benefits in northern and Indigenous communities

Research and/or project statements

Lab’s mission: To develop innovative strategies for health maintenance and disease management through innovative value-added agri-food products.

Current Research Program at CCARM: Characterization and mapping the health attributes of native Canadian berries (wild and cultivated lingonberries, cultivated cranberries & blueberries, ginseng berries). This includes establishing fast and sensitive assays for determination of their antioxidant capacities and their effectiveness in protecting the different organs (heart & kidney) from oxidative stress-induced injuries, resulting from dysregulated cell signalling and an inflammatory response. Experiments utilized cutting edge instruments at CCARM to analyse samples obtained from established cell model system and laboratory rodents.

Professional activities / interests

  • Associate Editor, Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology

  • Grant Review and Journal Peer Reviews

  • Thesis Supervisory/Advisory Committee (PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons)) & Supervisor of summer/co-op students

  • Co-Chair, St.Boniface Hospital Research Centre Safety Committee and Biosafety Sub-Committee

Education and awards

Education & Training:

  • BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry (University of Regina)

  • PhD in Biochemistry (University of Manitoba)

  • Post-doctoral training (The Rockefeller University, NY) with Nobel laureate Paul Greengard

  • Post-doctoral training (University of British Columbia)

  • Research Assistant Professor (Department of Pharmacology & School of Chinese Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong)

  • Assistant Professor (Department of Physiology, University of Manitoba)


  • Outstanding Researcher Award, University of Hong Kong

  • University of Hong Kong Research Fellow Award

International experience and/or work

  • Conference Organizer

  • Symposium Organizer, Chair & Speaker

  • Keynote/Landmark/Plenary Speaker

Key publications

For a complete list of publications, please visit: AAFC Online

Publications. Published 1 Editorial, 79 peer-reviewed research articles, 12 review articles, 5 book chapters and 142 meeting abstracts; h-index 34.


  1. Siow, YL (2014) What do we need to know about your NHP? Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 92(2): iii. dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjpp-2013-0455.


  1. O K and Siow YL (2017) Metabolic imbalance of homocysteine and hydrogen sulfide in kidney disease. Current Medicinal Chemistry 25(3): 367-377 doi:10.2174/ 0929867324666170509145240.
  2. Sarna L, Siow YL, and O K (2015) The CBS/CSE system: a potential therapeutic target in NAFLD? Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 93(1): 1-11. First published November 17, 2014; doi:10.1139/cjpp-2014-0394.
  3. Isaak CK and Siow YL (2013) The Evolution of Nutrition Research. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 91(4): 257-267. First published Jan 18, 2013 doi:10.1139/cjpp-2012-0367.

Research Articles

  1. Sid V, Siow Y, Shang Y, Woo CW, and O K (2018) High-fat diet consumption reduces hepatic folate transporter expression via nuclear respiratory factor-1. Journal of Molecular Medicine 96(11): 1203-1213. First published September 4, 2018; doi:10.1007/s00109-018-1688-8.
  2. Isaak CK, Petkau JC, Blewett H, O K, and Siow YL (2017) Lingonberry anthocyanins protect cardiac cells from oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 95(8): 904-910. First published April 6, 2017. doi:10.1139/cjpp-2016-0667.
  3. Isaak CK, Wang P, Prashar S, O K, Brown DCW, Debnath SC and Siow YL (2017) Supplementing diet with Manitoba lingonberry juice reduces kidney ischemia-reperfusion injury. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 97(9): 2065-3076. First published February 6, 2017. doi:10.1002/jsfa.8200
  4. Grant J, Ryland D, Isaak CK, Prashar S, Siow YL, Taylor CG and Aliani M (2017) Effect of Vitamin D3 Fortification and Saskatoon Berry Syrup Addition on the Flavor Profile, Acceptability and Antioxidant Properties of Rooibos Tea (Aspalathus linearis). Journal of Food Science 82(3): 807-817. First published February 13, 2017. doi:10.1111/1750-3841.13646
  5. Shang Y, Siow YL, Isaak CK and O K (2016) Downregulation of glutathione biosynthesis contributes to oxidative stress and distant organ dysfunction in acute kidney injury.  Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, Article ID 9707292, 13 pages, doi:10.1155/2016/9707292.
  6. Sid V, Wu N, Sarna LK, Siow YL, House J and O K (2015) Folic acid supplementation during high fat diet feeding restores AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation via an AMP-LKB1 dependent mechanism. American Journal of Physiology, Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 309(10): R1215-R1225. First published September 23, 2015; doi:10.1152/ajpregu.00260.2015. APSselect article for Dec 2015.
  7. Isaak CK, Petkau JC, O K, Debnath SC, and Siow YL (2015) Manitoba lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) bioactivities in ischemia-reperfusion injury. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 63(23): 5660-5669.  First published May 29, 2015. doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.5b00797
  8. Isaak CK, Petkau JC, O K, Ominski K, Rodriguez-Lecompte JC, and Siow YL  (2013) Seasonal variations in phenolic compounds and antioxidant capacity of Cornus stolonifera plant material: applications in agriculture. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 93(4):725-734. doi:10.4141/CJPS2012-310.
  9. Sun L, Isaak CK, Zhou Y, Petkau JC, O K, Liu Y, and Siow YL  (2012) Salidroside and tyrosol from Rhodiola protect H9c2 cells from ischemia/reperfusion-induced apoptosis. Life Sciences 91(5-6):151-158. First published July 10, 2012; doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2012.06.026.
  10. Siow YL, Sarna L, and O K (2011) Redox regulation in health and disease - therapeutic potential of berberine. Food Research International 44(8), 2409-2417. First Published January 12, 2011; doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2010.12.038.
  11. Siow YL, Gong Y, Au-Yeung KKW, Woo CWH, Choy PC, and O K (2005) Emerging issues in traditional Chinese medicine. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 83: 321-334 doi.org/10.1139/y05-029


  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba

  • Founding Board Member, Canadian Institute of Chinese Medicinal Research

  • Member, American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

  • Lifetime Member, Society for Chinese Bioscientists in America