Institute of Reproductive Health


Group of Spermatogenesis and Male Infertility

Group leader: Professor YUAN Shui-qiao

Members: Associate Professor HUANG Xunbin, Associate Professor WANG Xiaoli, Associate Professor WANG Fengli, and Lecturer LI Zhiming

This group is devoted to studying the molecular mechanisms of male germline differentiation and development. Our long-term research objective is to understand the fundamental principles of human germline formation and the etiology of azoospermia. We have carried out a series of histological and molecular bioinformatics analyses in the mouse model to explore how the genetic and epigenetic factors regulate germline development. We mainly focus on: (1) Unravel the molecular mechanism of germline-specific gene regulation during spermatogenesis and male infertility. (2) To study the mechanisms of epigenetic regulation of histone-to-protamine transition during spermiogenesis and aim to discover what histone modifications will turn to be abnormal in infertile men. (3) To study the functions of non-coding RNAs (both small and large) and RNA-binding proteins in male germ cell development. Using an unbiased based bioinformatic screen, we identified many non-coding RNA and RNA-binding proteins that are highly abundant in mouse/human germline and tried to further study their physiological roles during male germ cell development by "loss-of-function" strategies.


Group of Reproductive Immunology

Group leader: Professor ZHANG Huiping

Members: Professor LIAO Aihua, Professor XIAO Xianjin, Professor HUANG Donghui, Associate Professor ZHAO Kai, Associate Professor LUO Jing, Lecture LIU Chunyan, Senior engineer ZHOU Hui

The main research contents of this group are divided into two fields: basic research and applied basic research.

For basic research, the research office is dedicated to:(1)to investigate the effect and mechanism of immune factors in normal pregnancy and pathological pregnancy disease (pre eclampsia and recurrent abortion); (2)to investigate the effect and mechanism of immune factors in male and female infertility; (3)to investigate the effect and mechanism of immune factors in the repeated failure in the implementation of human assisted reproductive technology; (4)to develop biosensor based on nucleic acid,protein, nano materials and its application inmolecular diagnosis of disease; (5)to carry out population cohort studies on pregnancy complications, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and reproductive tract infection-related diseases.

For applied basic research, the research office is dedicated to:(1) to explore a new noninvasive biomarker for the warning of pathological pregnancy, monitoring,prenatal diagnosis and diagnosis of male infertility and the diagnosis of tumors of the reproductive system and real-time monitoring; (2) to explore the new method of contraception immunization.


Group of Epigenetics and Reproductive Medicine

Group leader: Professor ZHOU Liquan

Members: Professor LI Honggang, Professor XIANG Wenpei, Professor ZHU Changhong, Associate Professor XIA Wei, Associate Professor SU Ping, Associate Professor ZHANG Ling, Associate Professor LI Huai-biao, Senior engineer GUAN Huang-tao

This group dedicates to research on epigenetics in reproductive medicine and regenerative medicine, using animal models, stem cell models and clinical repositories. The research interests include mammalian gametogenesis and early embryogenesis, reproductive endocrine related diseases, environmental impact on reproductive epigenome and offspring, reproductive pharmacology, molecular functions of reprogramming factors in germ cells, etc.

The specific directions are as follows:

1. Gametogenesis. Identification of key regulators and cell organelles involved in folliculogenesis and spermatogenesis. Specific attentions are paid to reproductive endocrine related diseases such as primary ovarian insufficiency, natural aging of the reproductive organs, piRNA biogenesis and functions, and transgenerational inheritance of environmental cues.

2. Totipotency establishment and epigenetic reprogramming in early embryos and germ cells. Using microinjection, genetic modified mouse models, and stem cell models to elucidate how epigenetic reprogramming factors are involved in cell fate determination and transcriptional network establishment.

3. Study on new technology and new methods of contraception. Research interests include new IUD (nano copper, hormone) development, prevention and treatment of hemorrhage; clinical study of new types of emergency contraception; male immunocontraception; carrier gestodene as new degradable materials for clinical research.

4. Translational research on reproductive medicine. Including non-invasive parameters for early embryo evaluation, applications of mesenchymal stem cells in reproductive diseases, non-invasive differential diagnosis of azoospermia, novel biomarkers etc.


Center for Translational Research of Reproduction and Regenerative Medicine

Group leader: Professor XIAO Xianjin

Members: Associate Professor LI Huaibiao, Associate Professor ZHAO Kai

This center dedicates to basic research on reproductive medicine and stem cell related field, and pays close attention to translational medicine and clinical application of research achievements. The research interests include mammalian gametogenesis and early embryogenesis, environmental impact on reproductive epigenome and offspring, molecular functions of reprogramming factors in germ cells, stem cell library, etc.

Through mouse models and clinical repositories, we focus on studying: a) totipotency establishment in early embryos; b) epigenetic regulation during piRNA biogenesis, oocyte aging and early embryogenesis; c) influence of environment on germ cell epigenome and transgenerational inheritance; d) germ cell spindle structures and regulator screening; e) chromatin structure and DNA damage repair in germ cells; f) screening of development and differentiation controllers using stem cell libraries. Besides, we also assist researchers in our institute on the application of scientific and technological achievements.

Address:  Hangkong Road 13, Wuhan, China
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Tongji Medical College Huazhong University of Science and Technology