Institute of Reproductive Health
A: Brief introduction
The Institute of Reproductive Health (IRH) (the former was the Family Planning Research Institute) was established in 1979 approved by the Ministry of Health of China. IRH is the first institute that combines research, teaching and clinical work together. Also, it is a core member of both the National Key Discipline of Obstetrics＆Gynecology and the National Clinical Research Center on the Diseases of Obstetrics＆Gynecology. It has the national level platforms including the “National-Local Joint Engineering Laboratory for New Technology of Contraception and Birth Control” and the “National Clinical Trial Center for Reproductive Health and Infertility Drugs”. In April 2018, as one of the seven major disciplines of basic medicine, "Reproductive Medicine" participated in the “International Evaluation of Basic Medicine Program” and was regarded as a very characteristic direction and also very relevant for the international scientific community. Through 40 years’ development, it has become the top national level of institute in the field of reproductive health.
IRH consists of an independent research building (approximately 2000 m2 in area). It has three departments (Department of Reproductive Biology and Genetics, Department of Reproductive Immunology and Epidemiology, Department of Reproductive Pharmacology and Endocrinology) and one center (Center for Translational Research of Reproduction and Regenerative Medicine).
Currently, IRH has 20 full-time members, including 8 professors, 8 associated professors and 4 lecturers. Over 85% of the members have the experience of studying abroad. Three are serving as associated editors or board member of international journals. Moreover, the institute has one academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and more than 20 renowned scholars at home and abroad as guest professors, and adjunct professors from Stanford University, Yale University, Cornell University, Brown University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Nevada, Rosalind-Franklin University of Medicine and Science, Wayn State University, New York State University at Stony Brook, and Montana State University.
Currently, the research direction of the institute mainly focuses on fundamental research and clinical application, including the following directions: (1) Biological and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms of the main reproductive processes: Focus on gametogenesis, fertilization, early embryo development, regulation of important genes related to aging, molecular mechanisms, epigenetic regulatory mechanisms and progeny health; (2) Mechanism of major reproductive diseases and epidemiological studies: Focus on pregnancy-related diseases, immunological mechanisms and intervention strategies for male and female infertility, environment, nutritional factors and birth defects, pregnancy outcomes and long-term health of offspring; (3) Translational research on reproductive medicine: Focus on new contraceptive birth control materials, new targets, new approaches, diagnosis on reproductive diseases, including free nucleic acid, new methods of epigenetic detection, etc., and new ways of infertility treatment including in vitro gametogenesis, and stem cell therapy.
IRH is the first authorized unit for awarding PhD and master degrees in obstetrics and gynecology. Also, it is the postdoctoral research station in obstetrics and gynecology.
Two international courses lectured by two foreign guest professors have been opened for the whole university, namely “Reproductive and Immunity” and "Application of Optical Imaging Technology in the Field of Reproductive Medicine".
Moreover, we promote 5 optional courses open to all undergraduate students in our university, which including contraception and sterility, sexual medicine, human assisted reproductive technology, clinical reproductive medicine, and sex and human reproduction. Currently, there are 10 doctoral supervisors and 16 master supervisors. We have cultivated over 200 students with master degree and 60 PhD students majoring in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Right now, there are 25 doctoral candidates (3 international students) and 42 postgraduate candidates (2 international students).
E: International exchanges and cooperation
IRH has established a good cooperation with the international organization and institutions and co-cultivated 20 PhD students with Yale University, National Institutes of Health, UCLA, University of Montana. Heidelberg University, University of Bonn, University of Mainz, University of Munich, University of Jena, University of Ghent and University of Basel. In addition, we have trained 5 international students, who have obtained their master's or doctor's degrees.
F: Main achievements in recent 3 years
In recent 3 years, IRH has received more than 50 research projects at the national, ministerial, and provincial levels. The total funding reached to 30.37 million RMB. A total of 87 SCI papers have been published. Three projects were awarded by national maternal and child health science and technology award, with one ranked first in first prize and two in the second prize.
Much progress has also been achieved in translational research. A new intrauterine device based on new material and nano technology has been developed and available in market. A noninvasive differential diagnosis of subtypes of nonobstructive azoospermia based on cell-free seminal RNA has been established, and its sensitivity and specificity has been evaluated in large size patients. The liquid biopsy technique has been applied in translational applications. In addition, the gene editing experiment platform and zebrafish research platform established by the institute are open to the public.
IRH intends to be an international institution for reproductive health, which is open to people all over the world who are interested in the fields.