Interview Questions for Dr. Heather Christofk and Dr. William Lowry

A little over a month ago, a new groundbreaking study came out of UCLA that found that increasing lactate production in mice via the use of two different topical drugs led to increased hair growth both times (through hair stem cell activation). As I detailed in my post on that discovery, the two drugs are known as RCGD423 and UK5099. Both drugs act via entirely different mechanisms, and UCLA has filed separate patents for the use of each for hair growth purposes.

The scientists that led this research were Dr. Heather Christofk and Dr. William Lowry. Both run their own labs at UCLA, and the latter is listed as “post-doc” with the famous hair researcher Dr. Elaine Fuchs. Several weeks ago, a reader who wants to be known as “HLprevention” got in touch with Dr. Christofk, and then sent me her e-mail address and told me to get in touch with her. He thought that she would be willing to participate in an interview. I did as suggested, and Dr. Christofk has agreed to answer reader questions.

Please only post relevant questions, thoughts and concerns in this post, and continue to post unrelated comments in the last post.

UCLA has now been added to the list of research centers around the world working on a hair loss cure.

Brief Items of Interest, September 2017

Hair loss news first:

Seems like all of a sudden, this became the month where important companies in the hair loss world updated their websites after a long time.

— Who else but “nasa_rs” notifying me that Aclaris Therapeutics finally updated their pipeline page. The most interesting part is that they now term their topical JAK inhibitor for androgenetic alopecia (AGA) as a “soft” JAK inhibitor (no surprise), and they term AGA as an “inflammatory” skin disorder. I have theorized for a while that perhaps people who have major itching and dandruff associated with their male pattern hair loss might be suffering from significant inflammation (and therefore, if topical covalently bound JAK inhibitors do work for AGA, perhaps they will help those with itchy scalps much more than those without). Aclaris has also started a CEO blog on its site, which hopefully gets updated more frequently.

— Perhaps of even more importance, Dr. Tsuji/Kyocera/RIKEN partner Organ Technologies also updated or renewed their website (h/t Fuji Maru Kagurazaka) recently. On their hair follicle regeneration page (after translation), they state:

“We are currently pursuing research and development with a view to clinical application of hair follicle regeneration as the world’s first organ regeneration in humans in 2018”

As an aside, whatever has happened to our invaluable Japanese correspondent/informant “nosyu”? Hope he comes back some day.

— Of least significance, but nevertheless worth mentioning, Follica finally added text to the bios of some of their new team members including Dr. Dhurat.

— The same Ohio State University (OSU) doctor who amazed us recently with this unbelievable breakthrough from his lab is now making claims about hair regeneration from palm tocotrienol complex. I am highly skeptical, but still willing to keep a track of his work because of the OSU affiliation.

Dr. Koray Erdogan.

— Interesting article on the travails of hair loss in UK paper Mosaic.

— Androgens and androgen receptor action in skin and hair follicles.

— Topical tofacitinib possibly promoting hair growth via VEGF growth factor induction. This is the kind of research that keeps me interested in both JAK inhibitors and platelet-rich plasma (PRP).

— Generation of iPS-derived model cells for analyses of hair shaft differentiation (h/t HLprevention).

And now on to medical items of interest:

China: pig to human organ transplants two years away.

Nanoparticle drug to turn bad white fat into good brown fat. I am thinking as my next project.

Bionic lens, superhuman threefold vision.

CRISPR changes flower color. Would be great to change untanned Donald Trump into a Sudanese African. That is my political input for the year.

Something better than CRISPR?

Coma communication.

Vaccine to prevent tooth decay.