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Qinglei Li

Associate Professor


Phone: (979) 862-2009

Mailstop: 4458

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 609 (Anatomy of Reproductive Systems; to be offered in 2019 Spring semester) and VIBS 617 section 604 (Cell Biology: Gene Regulation in Eukaryotes; to be offered in 2019 Fall semester).


A Novel Mouse Model of Testicular Granulosa Cell Tumors.
Xin Fang, Nan Ni, Yang Gao, David F Vincent, Laurent Bartholin, Qinglei Li
Molecular human reproduction. 2018
TGFβ superfamily signaling and uterine decidualization.
Nan Ni, Qinglei Li
Reproductive biology and endocrinology : RB&E. 2017 15(1):84.
Disruption of postnatal folliculogenesis and development of ovarian tumor in a mouse model with aberrant transforming growth factor beta signaling.
Yang Gao, Xin Fang, David F Vincent, David W Threadgill, Laurent Bartholin, Qinglei Li
Reproductive biology and endocrinology : RB&E. 2017 15(1):94.
Constitutively active transforming growth factor β receptor 1 in the mouse ovary promotes tumorigenesis.
Yang Gao, David F Vincent, Anna Jane Davis, Owen J Sansom, Laurent Bartholin, Qinglei Li
Oncotarget. 2016 7(27):40904-40918.
Inhibitory SMADs: potential regulators of ovarian function.
Qinglei Li
Biology of reproduction. 2015 92(2):50.
Constitutive activation of transforming growth factor Beta receptor 1 in the mouse uterus impairs uterine morphology and function.
Yang Gao, Samantha Duran, John P Lydon, Francesco J DeMayo, Robert C Burghardt, Kayla J Bayless, Laurent Bartholin, Qinglei Li
Biology of reproduction. 2015 92(2):34.
Transforming growth factor β signaling in uterine development and function.
Qinglei Li
Journal of animal science and biotechnology. 2014 5(1):52.
TGFBR1 is required for mouse myometrial development.
Yang Gao, Kayla J Bayless, Qinglei Li
Molecular endocrinology (Baltimore, Md.). 2014 28(3):380-94.
SMAD7 antagonizes key TGFβ superfamily signaling in mouse granulosa cells in vitro.
Yang Gao, Haixia Wen, Chao Wang, Qinglei Li
Reproduction (Cambridge, England). 2013 146(1):1-11.
BMPR2 is required for postimplantation uterine function and pregnancy maintenance.
Takashi Nagashima, Qinglei Li, Caterina Clementi, John P Lydon, Francesco J DeMayo, Martin M Matzuk
The Journal of clinical investigation. 2013 123(6):2539-50.
Growth differentiation factor 9:bone morphogenetic protein 15 heterodimers are potent regulators of ovarian functions.
Jia Peng, Qinglei Li, Karen Wigglesworth, Adithya Rangarajan, Chandramohan Kattamuri, Randall T Peterson, John J Eppig, Thomas B Thompson, Martin M Matzuk
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2013 110(8):.
Small-molecule inhibition of BRDT for male contraception.
Martin M Matzuk, Michael R McKeown, Panagis Filippakopoulos, Qinglei Li, Lang Ma, Julio E Agno, Madeleine E Lemieux, Sarah Picaud, Richard N Yu, Jun Qi, Stefan Knapp, James E Bradner
Cell. 2012 150(4):673-84.
Transforming growth factor β receptor type 1 is essential for female reproductive tract integrity and function.
Qinglei Li, Julio E Agno, Mark A Edson, Ankur K Nagaraja, Takashi Nagashima, Martin M Matzuk
PLoS genetics. 2011 7(10):.
Connective tissue growth factor is required for normal follicle development and ovulation.
Takashi Nagashima, Jaeyeon Kim, Qinglei Li, John P Lydon, Francesco J DeMayo, Karen M Lyons, Martin M Matzuk
Molecular endocrinology (Baltimore, Md.). 2011 25(10):1740-59.
Estrogen promotes the development of mouse cumulus cells in coordination with oocyte-derived GDF9 and BMP15.
Koji Sugiura, You-Qiang Su, Qinglei Li, Karen Wigglesworth, Martin M Matzuk, John J Eppig
Molecular endocrinology (Baltimore, Md.). 2010 24(12):2303-14.
Defective gonadotropin-dependent ovarian folliculogenesis and granulosa cell gene expression in inhibin-deficient mice.
Ankur K Nagaraja, Brooke S Middlebrook, Saneal Rajanahally, Michelle Myers, Qinglei Li, Martin M Matzuk, Stephanie A Pangas
Endocrinology. 2010 151(10):4994-5006.
Genetic evidence that SMAD2 is not required for gonadal tumor development in inhibin-deficient mice.
Saneal Rajanahally, Julio E Agno, Roopa L Nalam, Michael B Weinstein, Kate L Loveland, Martin M Matzuk, Qinglei Li
Reproductive biology and endocrinology : RB&E. 2010 8:69.
Mouse oocytes enable LH-induced maturation of the cumulus-oocyte complex via promoting EGF receptor-dependent signaling.
You-Qiang Su, Koji Sugiura, Qinglei Li, Karen Wigglesworth, Martin M Matzuk, John J Eppig
Molecular endocrinology (Baltimore, Md.). 2010 24(6):1230-9.
Stable expression and characterization of N-terminal tagged recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 15.
Qinglei Li, Saneal Rajanahally, Mark A Edson, Martin M Matzuk
Molecular human reproduction. 2009 15(12):779-88.
Fibroblast growth factors and epidermal growth factor cooperate with oocyte-derived members of the TGFbeta superfamily to regulate Spry2 mRNA levels in mouse cumulus cells.
Koji Sugiura, You-Qiang Su, Qinglei Li, Karen Wigglesworth, Martin M Matzuk, John J Eppig
Biology of reproduction. 2009 81(5):833-41.
Revisiting oocyte-somatic cell interactions: in search of novel intrafollicular predictors and regulators of oocyte developmental competence.
Qinglei Li, Laurie J McKenzie, Martin M Matzuk
Molecular human reproduction. 2009 14(12):673-8.
Redundant roles of SMAD2 and SMAD3 in ovarian granulosa cells in vivo.
Qinglei Li, Stephanie A Pangas, Carolina J Jorgez, Jonathan M Graff, Michael Weinstein, Martin M Matzuk
Molecular and cellular biology. 2008 28(23):7001-11.
SMAD3 regulates gonadal tumorigenesis.
Qinglei Li, Jonathan M Graff, Anne E O'Connor, Kate L Loveland, Martin M Matzuk
Molecular endocrinology (Baltimore, Md.). 2007 21(10):2472-86.
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.
Qinglei Li, Ravi Kumar, Kathryn Underwood, Anne E O'Connor, Kate L Loveland, Jasbir S Seehra, Martin M Matzuk
Molecular human reproduction. 2007 13(9):675-83.

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