Category Archives: Rendl Lab

Brief Items of Interest, November 2015

Hair loss news first:

Update: Samumed released this optimistic sounding PR statement a day after I wrote this post.

“Hellouser” in Miami thread.

— I discussed the important work of the Rendl Lab and Dr. Michael Rendl a few months ago.  Several weeks ago, it was announced that Dr. Rendl’s team have created an online database that will allow researchers to study the interactions between hair follicles, stem cells and their surrounding environment.  This database is called Hair-GEL (gene expression library).  It is worth playing around with this database even if like myself you do not understand or recognize the names of most of the relevant genes.  This sort of open source project is extremely encouraging.

— Yet one more positive report on Adenosine and hair.  Make sure to read my post on Shiseido and Adenosine from last year.

Christopher1 on Hairsite has been testing out topical Tofacitinib to tackle his hair loss (as well as his vitiligo per another of his posts). Worth bookmarking that thread, but do not emulate him!  Too risky in my opinion.

Dr. Joseph Greco published a new chapter on PRP and stem cells in a textbook

— Joe Tillman (aka “Jotronic”) has initiated an excellent project to offer free repair work to those who have been damaged by bad hair transplants.

3D Printing of Hair.

— Update on the 3D printed comb to treat hair loss from Technion University in Israel.  They have a link to a dumb video about their project that almost made me ignore this update….but it made sense to have this here right below the 3D printing of hair link.

Interesting video of what goes on at Dr. Alan Bauman’s clinic during initial consultation and examination.  Funny that the hirsute patient in the video seems to think that he has something wrong with his hair… although when I first started losing my hair, I was probably the only person in the world who thought that there was a problem with my hair:-)

And now on to medical items of interest:

— A great new face transplant success story about ex-firefighter Patrick Hardison.  He also got new hair and I wonder if it will grow as long as the stellar hair that the dead donor had?  The most interesting quote in the article is the following:

“Of the roughly 30 patients who have received partial or full face transplants, Rodriguez said some three to five patients have died after rejection.”

I was unaware of this fact and had assumed that nobody ever died from these procedures.  I thought the worst case scenario was that the new face would be rejected (without any death) or that in the long run someone would have a higher chance of getting cancer and other medical problems due to taking the anti-rejection/ immunosuppressive medications for years.  Hopefully these death rates become zero as scientists gain more knowledge with each new patient.  And perhaps in the future it might also no longer be necessary to take immunosuppressants.

The heart is just a pump.  My father recently needed to get two stents put into an artery after a heart attack, so this subject is especially interesting to me.

— Interesting CRISPR related articles are now being published on an almost daily basis and it is hard for me to only pick 1 or 2 every month.  The best one was published today and includes interviews with some of the world’s leading geneticists.  The New Yorker had a good one this week titled “Gene Hackers“.  Editas Medicine will commence CRISPR gene editing trials to treat a rare form of blindness in 2017.

— And finally, a new TED video on DNA editing from CRISPR co-pioneer Jennifer Doudna.

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.