International Women Health Research Program

Wayne State University Medical School and Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Purpose and Intent

The Mott Center at Wayne State University and the Institute of Reproductive Health of Tongji Medical College at Huazhong University of Science and Technology will serve as the funding centers for the establishment of the International Women Health Research Program.

The objectives of the International Women Health Research Program are to improve the treatment and care of women health with a focus on reproduction and cancer.

Maternal mortality, pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia and recurrent abortions, gynecologic cancers, infertility are still major global problems that can only be improved by international collaborations.  Furthermore, the reproductive aspects of a women  have a major impact on her health with implications not only on the mother but the offsprings. 

The International Women Health Research Program will achieve its objectives by enhancing the education of health providers, investigators, students and general public.

The program only can be successful by Improving the education of physicians and researchers involved in multiple aspects of women health, training investigators to develop novel approaches for diagnosis and treatment; and by educating the general population on the complex aspects related to reproduction and women health . 

  1. Education:

Exchange programs:  The Program will coordinate exchange programs facilitating the visit of trainees, physicians and scientist to the participating institutions. 

Internship Program:  Physicians selected for the program are trained in the design and conduct of clinical and translational research in a 12-month (minimum 10-month) program at the WSU School of Medicine.

Postdoctoral training: The program will encourage and support the training of post-doctoral fellows for a period of two years. 

Lecture Series: The Program will coordinate the exchange of speakers for seminars at the participating institutions.  

  1. Research

The program will promote the scientific collaboration between the participating institutions.  The objective is to establish active research projects in basic science as well as clinical trials. 

Each of the projects will be coordinated by representatives from the two institutions.   

Research space will be organized at the participating institutions with the purpose of facilitate the ongoing collaborative projects.


Prof. Gil Mor. Mott Center for Human Development, Wayne State University.

Prof. Aihau Liao. Center for Reproductive Medicine Tongji Medical College

Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Summary of the ongoing research collaboration:

The ongoing collaboration will serve as foundation for the establishment of the Program.


  1. Teaching: Three courses on Reproductive Immunology and one in Ovarian cancer
  2. Mentorship: Eleven Students in Wuhan (Mei Tian, Zhaozhao Liu, Yonghong Zhang, Liling Wang, Jinlu Ji, Xiaohui Hu, Hong Liu, Lina Ma, Xiaobo Huang, Patrick Muyayalo, Zhihui Li) and two trained in the US (Yonhong Zhang and Candy Ding)
  3. Publications:  8 publications, 1 accepted and 2 in preparation (Yonghong and Patrick's papers)
  4. Grants: One has been funded [Title: The mechanism of Tim-3+Treg cells accumulating at the maternal-fetal interface and regulating the immune tolerance, supported by NSFC (No. 81871186)]; one under peer review (Title: Mechanism and intervention of negative costimulatory molecule network by regulating decidual Treg cells in maternal-fetal immune tolerance and related pregnancy diseases)
  5. Held joint meeting: 1th International Symposium for Reproductive Immunology and Genetics (May 18, 2017)

List of Co-published papers with Dr. Gil Mor

1.         Zhang YH, Aldo P, You Y, Ding J, Kaislasuo J, Petersen JF, Lokkegaard E, Peng G, Paidas MJ, Simpson S, Pal L, Guller S, Liu H, Liao AH, Mor G. Trophoblast-secreted soluble-PD-L1 modulates macrophage polarization and function. J Leukoc Biol. 2020. Epub 2020/05/10. doi: 10.1002/JLB.1A0420-012RR. PubMed PMID: 32386458.
2.         Wang L, Jiang P, Zhao S, Liu H, Liu L, Mor G, Liu C, Liao A. The dynamic profile and potential function of B-cell subsets during pregnancy. Cell Mol Immunol. 2020. Epub 2020/09/04. doi: 10.1038/s41423-020-00535-1. PubMed PMID: 32879470.
3.         Muyayalo KP, Huang DH, Zhao SJ, Xie T, Mor G, Liao AH. COVID-19 and Treg/Th17 imbalance: Potential relationship to pregnancy outcomes. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2020:e13304. Epub 2020/07/15. doi: 10.1111/aji.13304. PubMed PMID: 32662111; PMCID: PMC7404618.
4.         Liu H, Wang LL, Zhao SJ, Kwak-Kim J, Mor G, Liao AH. Why are pregnant women susceptible to COVID-19? An immunological viewpoint. J Reprod Immunol. 2020;139:103122. Epub 2020/04/04. doi: 10.1016/j.jri.2020.103122. PubMed PMID: 32244166; PMCID: PMC7156163.
5.         Liu H, Wang L, Wang Y, Zhu Q, Aldo P, Ding J, Mor G, Liao A. Establishment and characterization of a new human first trimester Trophoblast cell line, AL07. Placenta. 2020;100:122-32. Epub 2020/09/15. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2020.08.013. PubMed PMID: 32927240.
6.         Liu H, Huang X, Mor G, Liao A. Epigenetic modifications working in the decidualization and endometrial receptivity. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2020;77(11):2091-101. Epub 2019/12/10. doi: 10.1007/s00018-019-03395-9. PubMed PMID: 31813015.
7.         Hu X, Zhu Q, Wang Y, Wang L, Li Z, Mor G, Liao A. Newly characterized decidual Tim-3+ Treg cells are abundant during early pregnancy and driven by IL-27 coordinately with Gal-9 from trophoblasts. Hum Reprod. 2020;35(11):2454-66. Epub 2020/10/28. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deaa223. PubMed PMID: 33107565.
8.         Zhang Y, Ma L, Hu X, Ji J, Mor G, Liao A. The role of the PD-1/PD-L1 axis in macrophage differentiation and function during pregnancy. Hum Reprod. 2019;34(1):25-36. Epub 2018/12/01. doi: 10.1093/humrep/dey347. PubMed PMID: 30500923.
9.         You Y, Stelzl P, Zhang Y, Porter J, Liu H, Liao AH, Aldo PB, Mor G. Novel 3D in vitro models to evaluate trophoblast migration and invasion. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2019;81(3):e13076. Epub 2018/12/26. doi: 10.1111/aji.13076. PubMed PMID: 30582662.
10.       Wang LL, Li ZH, Duan YG, Yuan SQ, Mor G, Liao AH. Identification of programmed cell death 1 and its ligand in the testicular tissue of mice. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2019;81(2):e13079. Epub 2018/12/24. doi: 10.1111/aji.13079. PubMed PMID: 30578744.
11.       Muyayalo KP, Huang XB, Qian Z, Li ZH, Mor G, Liao AH. Low circulating levels of vitamin D may contribute to the occurrence of preeclampsia through deregulation of Treg /Th17 cell ratio. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2019:e13168. Epub 2019/07/13. doi: 10.1111/aji.13168. PubMed PMID: 31299118.
12.       Ji J, Zhai H, Zhou H, Song S, Mor G, Liao A. The role and mechanism of vitamin D-mediated regulation of Treg/Th17 balance in recurrent pregnancy loss. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2019;81(6):e13112. Epub 2019/03/25. doi: 10.1111/aji.13112. PubMed PMID: 30903715.
13.       Hu X, Wang Y, Mor G, Liao A. Forkhead box P3 is selectively expressed in human trophoblasts and decreased in recurrent pregnancy loss. Placenta. 2019;81:1-8. Epub 2019/05/30. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2019.04.003. PubMed PMID: 31138426.
14.       Muyayalo KP, Li ZH, Mor G, Liao AH. Modulatory effect of intravenous immunoglobulin on Th17/Treg cell balance in women with unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2018:e13018. Epub 2018/07/10. doi: 10.1111/aji.13018. PubMed PMID: 29984444.
15.       Li ZH, Wang LL, Liu H, Muyayalo KP, Huang XB, Mor G, Liao AH. Galectin-9 Alleviates LPS-Induced Preeclampsia-Like Impairment in Rats via Switching Decidual Macrophage Polarization to M2 Subtype. Frontiers in immunology. 2018;9:3142. Epub 2019/01/29. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.03142. PubMed PMID: 30687334; PMCID: PMC6335255.
16.       Tian M, Zhang Y, Liu Z, Sun G, Mor G, Liao A. The PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitory pathway is altered in pre-eclampsia and regulates T cell responses in pre-eclamptic rats. Scientific reports. 2016;6:27683. Epub 2016/06/10. doi: 10.1038/srep27683. PubMed PMID: 27277012; PMCID: PMC4899740.
17.       Hu XH, Tang MX, Mor G, Liao AH. Tim-3: Expression on immune cells and roles at the maternal-fetal interface. J Reprod Immunol. 2016;118:92-9. Epub 2016/10/30. doi: 10.1016/j.jri.2016.10.113. PubMed PMID: 27792886.