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Qinglei Li

Assistant Professor

Curriculum Vitae

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Phone: (979) 862-2009

Department: VIBS

Photo of Li, Qinglei


  • Ph.D. Physiology, Harbin Medical University 2001
  • M.S. Pathophysiology, Harbin Medical University 1997
  • B.S. Clinical Medicine, Binzhou Medical College 1994

Scholarly Interests

The myometrium plays a fundamental role in a variety of female reproductive events and has a significant impact on pregnancy outcome. The structural and functional abnormalities of myometrium can lead to reproductive disorders, such as implantation failure, preterm labor, and uterine rupture, some of which are severe causes of neonatal mortality and morbidity. Despite the long-recognized importance of myometrial function in pregnancy, key signaling pathways that control myometrial development and function are not well defined. Current studies in my laboratory are to identify the role of TGFß signaling and micro-RNA in myometrial contractility and pregnancy, and define the mechanistic contributions of dysregulated TGFß signaling to the development of myometrial defects. Results of these studies will guide the design of novel therapies for myometrial dysfunction and myometrium-associated diseases. My lab is also interested in understanding the SMAD signaling pathway in ovarian follicular development and ovulation. SMAD proteins can be classified into receptor-regulated SMADs (Smad1, 2, 3, 5, 8), the common SMAD (Smad4), and inhibitory SMADs (Smad6, 7). Our previous studies have identified a key role of SMAD2/3 in the maintenance of female fertility and follicular cell function. Ongoing studies focus on defining the ovarian function of inhibitory Smad (i.e., Smads 6 and 7) signaling and the interrelationship between inhibitory Smad signaling and Smad2/3 and/or Smad1/5/8-mediated signaling in the ovary. The third area is to define the role of TGFß signaling in ovarian tumorigenesis, we created a series of novel mouse models expressing constitutively active TGFß receptor 1 (TGFBR1) in the ovary using conditional gain-of-function approach. These models develop gonadal tumors that phenocopy a number of morphological, hormonal, and molecular features of human granulosa cell tumors and are potentially valuable for preclinical testing of targeted therapies to treat this class of poorly defined tumors. Research in my laboratory is supported by funding from the National Institute of Health and Department of Defense. I am the primary instructor for VIBS 617 section 604 (Cell Biology: Gene Regulation in Eukaryotes; 2017 fall semester) and VIBS 609 (Anatomy of Reproductive Systems; 2017 Spring semester).


Constitutively active transforming growth factor ß receptor 1 in the mouse ovary promotes tumorigenesis.
Gao Y, Vincent DF, Davis AJ, Sansom OJ, Bartholin L, Li Q.
Oncotarget. 2016 Jun; 7(27):40904-40918.
PMID: 27344183 []
Inhibitory SMADs: Potential Regulators of Ovarian Function.
Li Q.
Biol Reprod. 2015 Feb; 92(2):50.
PMID: 25550343 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Constitutive activation of transforming growth factor Beta receptor 1 in the mouse uterus impairs uterine morphology and function.
Gao Y, Duran S, Lydon JP, DeMayo FJ, Burghardt RC, Bayless KJ, Bartholin L, Li Q.
Biol Reprod. 2015 Feb; 92(2):34.
PMID: 25505200 [PubMed - in process]
Uterine epithelial cell proliferation and endometrial hyperplasia: evidence from a mouse model.
Gao Y, Li S, Li Q.
Mol Hum Reprod. 2014 Aug; 20(8):776-86.
PMID: 24770950 []
TGFBR1 is required for mouse myometrial development.
Gao Y, Bayless KJ, Li Q.
Mol Endocrinol. 2014 Mar; 28(3):380-94.
PMID: 24506537 []
Transforming growth factor Beta signaling in uterine development and function.
Li Q.
J Anim Sci Biotechnol. 2014 Nov; 5(1):52.
PMID: 25478164 []
SMAD7 antagonizes key TGFß superfamily signaling in mouse granulosa cells in vitro.
Gao Y, Wen H, Wang C, Li Q.
Reproduction. 2013 Jun; 146(1):1-11.
PMID: 23633623 []
BMPR2 is required for postimplantation uterine function and pregnancy maintenance.
Nagashima T, Li Q, Clementi C, Lydon JP, Demayo FJ, Matzuk MM.
J Clin Invest. 2013 Jun; 123(6):2539-50.
PMID: 23676498 []
Growth differentiation factor 9:bone morphogenetic protein 15 heterodimers are potent regulators of ovarian functions.
Peng J, Li Q, Wigglesworth K, Rangarajan A, Kattamuri C, Peterson RT, Eppig JJ, Thompson TB, Matzuk MM.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Feb; 110(8):E776-85.
PMID: 23382188 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Small-Molecule Inhibition of BRDT for Male Contraception.
Matzuk MM, McKeown MR, Filippakopoulos P, Li Q, Ma L, Agno JE, Lemieux ME, Picaud S, Yu RN, Qi J, Knapp S, Bradner JE.
Cell. 2012 Aug; 150(4):673-684.
PMID: 22901802 []
Transforming Growth Factor ß Receptor Type 1 Is Essential for Female Reproductive Tract Integrity and Function.
Li Q, Agno JE, Edson MA, Nagaraja AK, Nagashima T, Matzuk MM.
PLoS Genet. 2011 Sep; 7(10):e1002320.
PMID: 22028666 [PubMed - in process]
Genetic evidence that SMAD2 is not required for gonadal tumor development in inhibin-deficient mice.
Rajanahally S, Agno JE, Nalam RL, Weinstein MB, Loveland KL, Matzuk MM, Li Q.
Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2010 Jun; 8:69.
PMID: 20565978 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Stable expression and characterization of N-terminal tagged recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 15.
Li Q, Rajanahally S, Edson MA, Matzuk MM.
Mol Hum Reprod. 2009 Dec; 15(12):779-88.
PMID: 19651638 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Revisiting oocyte-somatic cell interactions: in search of novel intrafollicular predictors and regulators of oocyte developmental competence.
Li Q, McKenzie LJ, Matzuk MM.
Mol Hum Reprod. 2008 Dec; 14(12):673-8.
PMID: 18996952 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Redundant roles of SMAD2 and SMAD3 in ovarian granulosa cells in vivo.
Li Q, Pangas SA, Jorgez CJ, Graff JM, Weinstein M, Matzuk MM.
Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Dec; 28(23):7001-11.
PMID: 18809571 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Prevention of cachexia-like syndrome development and reduction of tumor progression in inhibin-deficient mice following administration of a chimeric activin receptor type II-murine Fc protein.
Li Q, Kumar R, Underwood K, O'Connor AE, Loveland KL, Seehra JS, Matzuk MM.
Mol Hum Reprod. 2007 Sep; 13(9):675-83.
PMID: 17704537 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
SMAD3 regulates gonadal tumorigenesis.
Li Q, Graff JM, O'Connor AE, Loveland KL, Matzuk MM.
Mol Endocrinol. 2007 Oct; 21(10):2472-86.
PMID: 17595316 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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