Established in 1978, Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research (SIPPR) is affiliated to Shanghai Academy of Science & Technology and is a social welfare research institution in the field of family planning and reproductive health. It is recognized as Collaborating Center for Research in Reproduction by the World Health Organization (WHO) for consecutive years since 1983. The SIPPR is a supporting institution for “Key Laboratory of Contraceptive Drugs and Devices”, “Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Reproductive Health Drugs and devices”, “National Evaluation Centre for the Toxicology of Fertility Regulating Drugs” and “Shanghai Family Planning and Reproductive Health Research Institute” and other research bases and academic organizations, as well as one of the construction units of “Institute of Reproductive and Development of Fudan University”. Its main responsibilities are: providing scientific and technological support for meeting Chinese people’s needs for family planning and reproductive health; providing policy-making consultation for health and family planning authorities of different levels to design relevant polices and promotion models; and providing society with public services by popularizing popular science and publishing technical journals and other forms.
Now the SIPPR has 212 regular employees, 181 of whom are scientists/technicians, including 25 with senior post, 35 with deputy senior post, 57 with intermediate post and 64 with junior post. Among them, 57 have a master's degree and 44 have a doctor's degree. As Fudan University’s off-campus graduate student training center, now it has 11 doctoral advisors and 13 master advisors from Fudan University. Since 2013, the SIPPR is approved as “Post-Doctoral Research Center” by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of China and National Postdoctoral Management Commission. During the “12th Five-Year Plan” period, the SIPPR has 2 persons who won “special government allowance”, 3 who won the title of “National Excellent Scientific and Technical Worker”, 1 who won “National May 1st Labor Medal ”, 1 selected as “National Young and Middle-Aged Scientific and Technological Innovation Leading Talent ”(Talent Plan), 2 selected as “Shanghai Leading Talent”, 1 who won “Shanghai Young Scientific and Technological Talent”, 1 selected as “Shanghai Excellent Academic Pacesetter”, and 3 young researchers who were subsidized by “Shanghai Talent Development Fund”; it has fostered 20 doctors, 34 masters and 1 postdoctor.
The SIPPR adheres to the philosophy of “aiming at letting technology benefit people’s livelihood, taking improving scientific and technological innovation capacity as mainline, and centering on innovative talents team building”, sticks to the model of interactive development of “project-talent-base”, and facilitates technological innovation of the SIPPR by taking research and development bases like key laboratory and engineering technological research center as platforms, taking major research and development projects as carriers, relying on innovative achievements and taking innovation culture building as an guarantee. Moreover, the SIPPR encourages and supports young researchers to conduct original researches by setting up “Youth Scientific and Technological Innovation Fund Program” and “Youth Technology Innovation Award”; it promotes interdisciplinary intersection and lifts the level of scientific and technological innovation through “Special Fund Program for Technological Progress”; and provides researchers of the SIPPR with more platforms of sci-tech innovation by participating in building “the Reproductive and Developmental Research Institute Of Fudan University”.
In the meantime, the SIPPR attaches importance to strengthening international cooperation with international organizations and foundations like WHO, United Nations Population Fund, Ford foundation, Gates Foundation, and numerous foreign universities and research institutions and always maintains extensive international influence in research fields regarding research and development of birth control drugs and reproductive health. In recent years, the SIPPR keeps sending over 20 batches of researchers to visit foreign countries to participate in research activities and conduct international academic exchange every year.
II. Business description:
As a research institution, the SIPPR now set four research departments-“Drug Development Laboratory”, “Pharmacology and Toxicology Laboratory”, “Epidemic and Social Medicine Laboratory” and “Reproductive Biology Laboratory”, with a wide spectrum of research areas, basic and applied basic research and applied research and social sciences research. Also, it has technical service departments like “Shanghai Family Planning Hospital”, “Shanghai Population and Family Planning Guidance and Service Center” and “Editorial Department of China Reproduction & Contraception Magazine”(formerly Editorial Department of Reproduction & Contraception).
Drug Development Laboratory: takes the applied research of family planning/reproductive health medicine as its characteristic discipline. It is one of very few bases specializing in the research and development of new contraceptives in China and a discipline that maintains our Institute’s unique academic position in national health and family planning system. Meanwhile, the laboratory also engages in the research and development of reproductive health medicine that can be used for curing reproductive diseases, including fibroid, endometriosis, female climacteric syndrome, breast cancer and prostatic cancer and molecular pharmacological research of various new drugs.
Pharmacology and Toxicology Laboratory: mainly engages in the applied research of preclinical evaluation of new drugs and provides technical services to the public. Now it is China’s only GLP base specializing in the preclinical evaluation of new contraceptives, and it mainly offers technical services in the safety evaluation of new drugs to the public and domestic pharmaceutical companies. Meanwhile, it has also conducted research on the mechanism of medical reproductive toxicity and prostatic disorders and their therapeutics.
Epidemic and Social Medicine Laboratory: primarily conduct research on reproductive epidemiology and social medicine. Now it leads in domestic fields of family planning and reproductive health, especially in key areas of contraception and birth control, infertility, birth defect, elderly health and other population and family planning-related fields, and has extensive international partnerships in molecular epidemiology and genetic epidemiology study. This laboratory is funded by a large number of national major projects and international cooperation projects every year, and its relevant findings provide decision-making consultation for relevant government sectors.
Reproductive Biology Laboratory: focuses on conducting basic research of procreation regulation and applied basic research for reproductive medicine. It is a discipline that our institute prioritizes and an important research effort of key laboratory in recent years. It publishes a large number of SCI papers and applies for some patents for invention every year; and it is a main department that undertakes the projects of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) in our institute. This laboratory pays attention to strengthening the cooperation with clinical institutions, carrying out applied basic research, and accelerating the transformation and application of clinical examination and diagnostic techniques, as well as conducting cooperation with other disciplines like drugs and epidemic and constantly improve specialty arrangement of this discipline by intensifying the efforts in studying bioinformatics.
“Editorial Department of China Reproduction & Contraception Magazine”: formerly Editorial Department of Reproduction & Contraception, and first edited and issued its Reproduction & Contraception magazine in 1980, It is an academic journal about reproductive biology, family planning and reproductive medicine issued at home and abroad, approved by family planning leading group of the State Council, supervised by the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), and run by the Shanghai Institute Of Planned Parenthood Research. The journal gradually evolves to an A4-version 88-page monthly now from a B5-version 64-page quarterly in its initial issue. Reproduction & Contraception (English Edition) was first issued in 1989 and mainly publishes and introduces China’s scientific achievements in family planning and reproductive biology. Chinese and English editions both witness and promote the development of reproductive biology, family planning and reproductive medicine of China. In 2016, Reproduction & Contraception became a gynecology and obstetrics core journal of A Guide to the Core Chinese Periodicals, NKI and so on; the English edition is included in Elsevier database.
Since January 1, 2017, Reproduction & Contraception was officially renamed as China Reproduction & Contraception Magazine (Monthly), Reproduction & Contraception( English Edition) was officially renamed as Reproductive and Development Medicine (Reproductive and Developmental Medicine)(Quarterly), jointly run by the Chinese Medical Association, the SIPPR and Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital of Fudan University.
Shanghai Population and Family Planning Guidance and Service Center: was cofounded by the SIPPR and Shanghai Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning on July 7, 2011. Since its establishment, the Center always seriously implements policy on establishing and perfecting family development by the Party Central Committee, practically promotes family harmony and happiness, complys with the new developments of the reform of health and family planning institutions and the implementation of “universal two-child policy”, and fully mobilizes all social powers to proactively explore new paths to adapt to family development tasks in the new period.
In terms of scientific research, it centers on family health care, fertility guidance, scientific parenting, elderly care and family culture to conduct family development research projects, to provide references for governmental decision-making departments.
As regards popularization of science and services, it edits, publishes and issues internal and public publications such as Shanghai Family Development, Second Baby is Coming, Are You Ready and New Family Development Plan by centering on the topics like maternal and infant care, scientific parenting, contraception and birth control, playing an important role in improving professional skills of staff of family planning guidance and service institutions of different levels in Shanghai, boosting scientific literacy of citizens in Shanghai, promoting family health, and strengthening sustainable development capacity of family.
This department has won a number of honors, including Advanced Group in Shanghai Health and Family Planning Work from 2012-2014, “2014-2015 Advance Group in Shanghai Science and Technology Week”, Excellent Organizer of Shanghai “National Science Popularization Day”, 2015 Shanghai “Women’s Civilized Post”, and 2015 SIPPR “Excellent Team”.
III. Scientific and technological output and achievements:
In recent years, the SIPPR focuses on the establishment of incentive and guiding mechanism and the building of innovation system with industry-university-research cooperation, pays attention to technical innovation and service innovation, and is committed to accelerating the transformation and application of scientific and technological achievements, all works achieved great growth. During “the 11th Five-Year Plan” period, the SIPPR obtained nearly 100 million yuan as research fund, technical services earned over 100 million yuan; published 420 papers (including 109 SCI papers), chiefly edited or co-edited 9 works and applied for 36 patents, and Chinese patents of 23 projects are authorized; 1 product acquired new drug certificate and production approval, besides, 2 products acquired approval for clinical test. During “the 12th Five-Year Plan” period, the SIPPR acquired 175 million yuan as research fund, technical services earned 180 million yuan; published 621 papers (including 250 SCI papers); compiled and published 18 academic monographs and books about popular science; applied for 58 patents, 47 of which were authorized; 5 new products acquired clinic approval, 3 products acquired production approval; and won a total of 11 technology achievement awards at the provincial level as the first completer
IV. Major scientific discoveries and breakthroughs in history:
In the 1980s: Academician Li Ruilin independently and successfully designed a whole new mifepristone synthesis path with strong specificity, simplified process, high yield and domesticized reagent through “Seven Five” national key scientific and technological project-mifepristone project. And his related development achievement-anti-early pregnancy new drug made a breakthrough in the studies of human birth control and progesterone biology, as a result, he successively won second-class prize for Shanghai Scientific and Technological Progress; gold award at the 1st Shanghai Technology Expo; second prize for the NHFPC “Seven Five” Key Scientific Achievement; the second prize for 1992 Scientific and Technological Progress by the State Family Planning Commission, second award for National 1993 Scientific and Technological Progress. Relevant scientific and technological achievements was successfully transformed into a product in market in 1993, which is highly popular as a safe and effective anti-early pregnancy medicine with little side effect and complete abortion rate of 95% and set a precedent where contraceptive production not only suffers no loss but also generates tremendous social benefit and direct economic benefit; meanwhile, It marks a milestone that China has become the second country to be able to produce such medicine in the world.
With a “Six Five” national key scientific and technological project -“long-term comparison of three kinds of contraceptive devices”, our institute proves that both expulsion rate of inert intrauterine device stainless steel ring and rate of unintended pregnancy are much higher than active intrauterine device copper V200 and copper T220C, providing scientific data support for the country and government to formulate relevant family planning policies. It was under the influence of this finding that Shanghai was the first to advocate no longer using inert intrauterine device in 1989, and the NHFPC issued a notice in 1993, stopping producing and using inert intrauterine device, which avoids pains that unintended pregnancy brings to women and their families and brings good news to fertile women in China.
In the 1990s: levonorgestrel subdermal implants-Norplant (two piece) co-developed with Shanghai Rubber Research Institute was successfully transferred to domestic related pharmaceutical companies, making it become the second manufacturer of this product besides Leiras Oy Pharmaceuticals of Finland (producer of the original drug) in the world then, filling the void of like product in China and providing new technical support for national policy on family planning.
In the 21st century, one/two piece contraceptive subdermal implants, pessary series, intrauterine device series independently developed by our Institute obtained multiple national patents for invention with proprietary intellectual property rights, and they are mainly used for birth control, gynecological diseases, and women’s climacteric syndrome, filling multiple voids both at home and abroad. The above achievements are about to sign or has signed a technology transfer agreement with domestic and foreign manufacturers, and many of them have entered the stage of clinical test. “Systematic Review on Common Oral Contraceptive and Intrauterine Device in China” project conducted by the SIPPR, the findings become an important basis for the National Population and Family Planning Commission to make family planning contraceptives government procurement catalogs for 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2014. In addition, the SIPPR also made significant achievements in the studies of the impact of environment on reproduction, such as first reporting about negative impact of bisphenol A on the sexual development and physical development of offspring internationally and finding that bisphenol A will lead to a series of health hazards, including deterioration of male semen, female sex hormone disorder and adolescent dysplasia. These findings received wide attention from scholars in this field and several international media and constituted a primary scientific basis to facilitate and guide the world’s main countries (China and developed countries like America and European countries) to revise (limit or prohibit) bisphenol A use standard.
Looking into the future, the SIPPR will continue to face great demand of the country and the society - “enhancing reproductive health and maternity and child care services”, constantly strive to enhance the ability to innovate science and technology and serve the society, and make a greater contribution to implementing national family planning policy and realizing the work objective of “letting everyone enjoy reproductive health”.