Category Archives: Durham University

Dr. Claire Higgins and her Hair Research

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, has also worked under Dr. Claire Higgins.

Dr. Claire Higgins and Higgins Lab

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. Dr. Higgins and her team are based at Imperial College (UK) via the Higgins Lab.

In the Linkedin profile for Dr. Higgins, 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 culturing/3D spheroids. 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.

Dr. Aaron Gardner

Dr. Aaron Gardner is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Durham University in the UK. He has worked with the famous Dr. Colin Jahoda and co-authored several papers along the way. Among the highlights include a 2013 one titled “Isolation and establishment of hair follicle dermal papilla cell cultures.”

Dr. Aaron Gardner Hair Research Presentations

At the just ended World Congress for Hair Research in South Korea (WCHR2014) Dr. Gardner had an interesting presentation that he has made available online. The first poster is largely related to wound healing, while the second is more closely related to hair loss (3D spheres and follicle neogenesis).

Dr. Gardner posted these presentation on the Bald Truth forums and, quite surprisingly, has started to actively participate on the forums. I am hopeful and optimistic that younger hair loss researchers such as Dr. Gardner who have witnessed the birth and subsequent exponential growth in social media participate more frequently on the forums. There is now a Q&A thread where Dr. Gardner responds to questions by forum members. If you are registered on the BTT forums,  you can search for all the posts made by user “agardner.”

Interestingly, Dr. Gardner made a post where he discredited the “cure is five years away” concept. I got a sense that he was implying that a cure could come much sooner. It is only a matter of time before one of the numerous teams working on a hair loss cure makes a major breakthrough.

Stay tuned for more news on the WCHR2014 conference once Desmond posts videos and other updates from his trip to South Korea. Desmond’s trip was very fruitful (see my earlier post about raising funds for his trip on this blog) and a great forum crowdfunding success story.