China Collaboration

International Women Health Research Program

The C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development has teamed with the Institute of Reproductive Health of Tongji Medical College at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, to establish the International Women Health Research Program.

The goal of the new collaboration is to improve women’s treatment and care, particularly in areas of cancer and reproductive health.

Because the program’s success depends on improving the education of physicians and researchers involved in multiple aspects of women’s health, training investigators to develop novel approaches for diagnosis and treatment, and educating the general population on the complex aspects related to reproduction and women’s health, a key component of the collaboration includes exchange programs in which trainees, physicians and scientists train at the two participating institutions.

To date [in October, 2020] in addition to developing three courses in reproductive immunology and one in ovarian cancer, the program has mentored 11 students in Wuhan, with two trained at WSU.

Under and internship program, physicians selected for the program are trained in the design and conduct of clinical and translational research in a 12-month program at the WSU School of Medicine. The partnership also includes support for training post-doctoral fellows for two years and the exchange of speakers for seminars at both institutions.

Maternal mortality, pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia and recurrent abortions, gynecologic cancers and infertility are still major global problems that can only be improved by international collaborations. A woman’s reproductive aspects have a major impact not only on her health, but on the health of her children. The International Women Health Research Program will achieve its objectives by enhancing the education of health providers, investigators, students, and general public.

Gil Mor, M.D., Ph.D., Director, C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development Wayne State University
Profile picture of Gil Mor

Throughout September, WSU and Huazhong University of Science and Technology virtually hosted a four-part lecture series for faculty of both schools featuring Dr. Mor speaking on reproductive immunology, implantation, infection in pregnancy and fetal-maternal immune interaction.

The collaboration has published eight papers, with more in various stages of pre-publication, and has secured one grant [as of 2020].

The universities held their first International Symposium for Reproductive Immunology and Genetics in Wuhan on may 18, 2017.

Dr. Gil Mor, scientific director of the C.S. Mott Center, and Dr. Marcus Zervos, assistant dean of global affairs at the School of Medicine, represented WSU at the signing ceremony Noember 7, 2019. Professor Jianguo Chen, vice president of HUST and dean of Tongji Medical College, and Professor Aihua Liao, dean of the Institute of Reproductive Health at Tongji Medical College, also participated in the ceremony.

Zervos, who visited Union Hospital and Tongji Hospital while in China, says he hopes the agreement will promote additional partnership opportunities between the universities, including teacher-student exchanges. Chen says he believes that this exchange will be expanded to include different levels of medical science and engineering.