Category Archives: Michael Rendl

Dr. Michael Rendl — Mesenchymal Control of Hair Follicle Growth

On this blog, I have in the past discussed various dermatological associations and non-profits, including several important ones in the United States such as the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and Advancing Innovation in Dermatology (AID).  A third one called the Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID) recently had its 75th annual meeting on May 11th, 2016.

On SID’s youtube channel, you can find a number of the video presentations from this meeting, including a few that discuss hair in at least part of the presentation.  On SID’s website they have a summary list of presentations that includes quite a few involving hair, but none of those videos seem to be available as yet.  Hopefully they will make more of them publicly available soon assuming they videotaped all the presentations.

Dr. Michael Rendl

For now, the most relevant video when it comes to our cause is a presentation by Dr. Michael Rendl that I have embedded below.  On this blog, I have discussed Dr. Rendl’s work several times in the past, including in this post about his Rendl lab.  The below video is highly interesting, especially when it comes to the crucial dermal papilla cell and its induction of hair growth.  I did not realize how complicated this process is and how researchers still have so many uncertainties about the various signals, transcription factors, pathways and processes that lead to the dermal papilla inducing hair growth.

The parts on gene expression, RNA deep-sequencing and CRISPR-mediated genome editing are also very interesting, especially since CRISPR has been in the news so much in the past year (and it now seems inevitable that adult humans will be able to have their genes edited in the future).  A lot of the content is very technical and way above my head.

Kudos to Dr. Rendl for creating the hair-GEL (gene expression library) website for sharing this crucial information with everyone for free. It is too bad that Dr. Rendl is totally bald and seems to be very comfortable with that look.


The Rendl Lab — Understanding Dermal Papilla Cells

The New York based Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) is a highly respected medical school.  It includes departments that specialize in stem cells, regenerative medicine, and dermatology.  Recently, I found out that the school is also home to the Rendl Lab, led by Dr. Michael Rendl (who seems to originate from Austria and has worked under the renowned Dr. Elaine Fuchs at her lab in the past).  Also see Dr. Michael Rendl’s bio on the Mount Sinai Hospital page.

It was quite surprising to me that the Rendl Lab places such a heavy emphasis on research related to the hair follicle, in particular, the dermal papilla cell.  Their ultimate goal is hair regeneration. In their own words, they wish to:

  • Uncover how specialized Dermal Papilla (DP) cells act as instructive niche cells for hair follicle stem cells.
  • Define how DP cells acquire the hair-inducing cell fate in the first place that sets them apart from regular skin fibroblasts.

On the Rendl Lab’s publications page, they allow anyone to access pdf versions of their articles, which is a much appreciated rarity in the medical research profession.  The lab’s research page has some interesting diagrams pertaining to dermal papilla cells.

The Rendl Lab has now been added to the world map of key hair loss research centers.