Category Archives: Claire Higgins

Brief Items of Interest, September 2015

Hair loss news first:

Edit: I just found out that Devon Grimmé from Follicept unexpectedly passed away today at the very young age of 27. He made man helpful comments over the past year (link no longer working) while he was testing Follicept’s product on himself.  Also see my post from earlier this year regarding Follicept.

Edit: A day after I wrote this post, Kythera submitted an Investigational New Drug Application (IND) to the US FDA for KYTH-105 (Setipiprant).  For more on Setipiprant, read this.

Edit: “Swisstemples” who I mentioned further below has a new website.

— The renowned Dr. Claire Higgins recently made a very interesting presentation that has to be seen in its entirety.  I found her team’s experiment and findings on hair growing dermis transplanted under non-hair growing epidermis growing hair through the previously barren epidermis (but hair growing epidermis transplanted over non-hair growing dermis ceasing to grow hair) to be interesting.  It makes obvious sense of course since the critical dermal papilla cells are in the dermis that lies below the epidermis.  The most interesting part of the below video, however, is at 33:47 during the question and answer segment where she mentions how people are now using “rollers with spikes on them” to stimulate dermal papilla cells.  I have mentioned dermarolling and wounding (Follica will also add further compounds to the scalp after wounding) on this blog before and I am surprised that even Dr. Higgins seems to think there is some legitimacy to this crude concept.  Unfortunately, the wounding has to be done at a very precise level, manner, frequency and duration — so most  hair loss forum members who are doing this are unlikely to be doing it correctly.  I can fathom a day in the near future when we will go to clinics to get professionals to do this for us.  i.e., we will pay good money to have someone injure our scalps and bleed us, all in the name of more hair.

— On rare occasions, I promote someone or some idea on this blog that I do not fully understand or even trust.  The only reason I do this is because my intuition tells me that there is some serious potential behind this person or idea even if some of the subject matter goes above me and the person involved is a bit wacko (e.g., search this blog for Dr. Nigam and Mr. Liu Xuewu). If a person is extremely passionate about his idea and is also very intelligent (especially when it comes to hair, chemistry and biology) and well spoken, I get an urge to post about him (note that there are no such obsessed females I have come across in the hair loss world).  Getting back to the subject matter, this new hair loss treatment blog is extremely interesting and the author has also e-mailed me about it.  He does not sell anything (and if he ever does, do not buy something from such a stranger).  I would even not buy something from sites that he starts to recommend, since some of these products may not be 100 percent safe or thoroughly tested yet in clinical trials.  I am more cautious than most when it comes to taking drugs, especially oral drugs.  A lot of guys are participating in “group buys” of products from strangers in China, Russia etc… absolutely foolish in my opinion, but perhaps the fools will have full heads of hair while I continue losing ground on Finasteride:-(  I only posted this link for the entertainment and educational value.  I will not participate in these group buys. In any event, you can ask “Swisstemples” questions here and decide for yourself on which products to use.

–Very surprising that the BBC had such a stupid article: can a bang on the head lead to hair loss?

Spironolactone is a potentially miraculous product for some, and also very cheap.  Besides helping with hair loss, it can even reduce persistent high blood pressure.

— I mentioned Arfy and Ernie in a post from 2013, and just like the latter, the former is back again with a vengeance.  More here and here. The hair loss world is quite something.  Why on earth would one want to go watch a movie on a weekend night when one can find far better plots on hair loss forums?

— An interesting new video on balding.

And now on to medical items of interest:


— At first they were blaming the Chinese for being too fast, but now they want to do it themselves.  Western scientists seek permission to genetically modify embryos.

— George Church is a brilliant man.  He is all for genetic engineering.

Spanish cancer patient receives 3D printed ribs from an Australian company in a world first surgery.

Getting closer to an invisibility cloak.  Perhaps a future hair loss treatment may involve visuals…i.e., we will have others (and the mirror and the camera?) see us as we want them to?

DARPA brain interfaces coming.  Google or Bing search for actual articles on this as the video is a bit different from the news articles.

— Complex damaged nerves regrown using 3D printed guide.

Dr. Claire Higgins

On May 20 I made a post about UK-based Dr. Aaron Gardner because of his presentation at the WCHR2014.  Dr. Gardner, who works under Dr. Colin Jahoda at Durham university in the UK, has also worked under Dr. Claire Higgins.

Dr. Jahoda and Dr. Higgins are probably the two foremost hair loss researchers in the UK, and among the world’s ten most cited ones.  In the Linkedin profile for Dr. Higgins that I just linked to her name above, you can scroll down all the way to see various summaries of her extensive prior hair loss related research.

In recent years, both Dr. Jahoda and Dr. Higgins have become well known for their work related to 3D spheroids/3D culturing.  In Dr. Higgins own words:

Human dermal papilla cells, when grown as spheroids, are capable of inducing de novo hair follicles in human skin.

In 2013, Dr. Higgins was a co-author of an important article on 3D culturing of dermal papilla cells.

Below are two videos of Dr. Higgins that are well worth watching. The first is courtesy of blog reader Desmond yet again. The second, surprisingly, is from a Latino news channel’s daily science, health and technology segment. I am impressed by Dr. Higgins’ knowledge and communication skills.  Perhaps the wonderful accent biases my opinion a bit.