Texas A&M University Institute of Advanced Studies

Sichao Jia

Sichao Jia

I worked with Dr. John Brosnan (Hagler Institute Faculty Fellow) at Texas A&M University between January and May 2016. I participated in his experiments with pregnant sheep. In addition, with the guidance of Dr. Brosnan, I studied the oxidation of energy substrates in fish tissues. This is a novel and important project, which has not previously been conducted by any other group in the world.

The teaching of Dr. Brosnan has not only broadened my knowledge of metabolism through his lectures and discussions, but has also given me many very important insights into nutritional biochemistry in fish.  Specifically, I focused on the oxidation of glutamate, glutamine, leucine, glucose and fatty acids in various fish tissues, including muscle, intestine, kidneys, and liver.  I found that glutamate was a major energy source for all these tissues.  This result is new and exciting, and may help to explain why fish generally need at least 2-3 times of protein level in their diets compared with feed for livestock species.

Amino acids are minor energy substrates in extraintestinal tissues in mammals. By using labeled amino acid tracers, I found that energy sources differed markedly between fish and mammals, such as rats, pigs, and beef.  For instance, all four fish tissues (liver, intestine kidney and muscle) had much higher rates of the oxidation of amino acid than glucose and palmitate.  This information will provide a much-needed biochemical foundation to formulate new and improved diets for aquatic animals.

Another study I have been working on along with Dr. Brosnan is to study how arginine affects the growth of fish larvae. Dr. Brosnan gave me invaluable suggestions on my experimental design. I found that arginine could improve the growth of fish larvae and the variation of their body weights likely through enhancing muscle protein synthesis.  This finding will help design new diets for raising young fish.

After the work of these studies is completed, 2 research papers will be written for publication. Thanks to the HEEP fellowship as well as the help from Dr. Brosnan and Dr. Guoyao Wu, two distinguished professors, I were able to perform frontier research projects in the area of fish biochemistry and nutrition.

Mr. Jia will graduate next spring.  


Animal Nutrition

Graduation Year

August 2017

Degree Type


Fellowship Year(s)

'15 - '16

Previous Education

Ph.D. Student in Animl Nutrition - Texas A&M University - '12
B.S. in Aquaculture - Southwest University - '11


G. Wu

Journal Articles

1. Rezaei, Reza; Jia, Sichao; Assaad, Houssein; Gabriel, Ana San; Fujishima, Yoshiyuki; Uneyama, Hisayuki; Wu, Guoyao; ",Monosodium glutamate supplementation to the diet for lactating sows enhances growth performance and survival of suckling piglets,Amino Acids,45,3,596-597,2013,"SPRINGER WIEN SACHSENPLATZ 4-6, PO BOX 89, A-1201 WIEN, AUSTRIA"

2. Hou, Yongqing; Jia, Sichao; Nawaratna, Gayan; Hu, Shengdi; Dahanayaka, Sudath; Bazer, Fuller W; Wu, Guoyao; ",Analysis of l-homoarginine in biological samples by HPLC involving precolumn derivatization with o-phthalaldehyde and N-acetyl-l-cysteine,Amino acids,47,9,2005-2014,2015,Springer Vienna

3. Hou, Yongqing; Hu, Shengdi; Jia, Sichao; Nawaratna, Gayan; Che, Dongsheng; Wang, Fenglai; Bazer, Fuller W; Wu, Guoyao; ",Whole-body synthesis of l-homoarginine in pigs and rats supplemented with l-arginine,Amino acids,48,4,993-1001,2016,Springer Vienna


1. Jia, Sichao; Dahanayaka, Sudath; Wu, Zhenlong; Dai, Zhaolai; Yang, Ying; Wang, Junjun; Wu, Guoyao; ",Analysis of free and peptide-bound amino acids using high-performance liquid chromatography,AMINO ACIDS,45,3,590-591,2013,"SPRINGER WIEN SACHSENPLATZ 4-6, PO BOX 89, A-1201 WIEN, AUSTRIA