ASEF Luncheon, February 14, 2012

George Cotsarelis: "Hair follicle stem cells and regeneration"

George Cotsarelis, Professor and Chair of Dermatology, specializes in scalp and hair disorders and studies the mini-organ hair follicle. His team's recent scientific papers offer hope for people with hair loss---and shed new light on the road that stem cells travel toward differentiation, which is crucial in the regenerative process.

Given the amount of angst over male pattern balding, surprisingly little is known about its cause at the cellular level. In a 2011 study, a team led by Dr. Cotsarelis has found that stem cells play an unexpected role in explaining what happens in bald scalp. "We were surprised to find the number of stem cells was the same in the bald part of the scalp compared with other places, but did find a difference in the abundance of a specific type of cell, thought to be a progenitor cell. This implies that there is a problem in the activation of stem cells converting to progenitor cells in bald scalp." At this point, the researchers don't know why there is a breakdown in this conversion. "However, the fact that there are normal numbers of stem cells in bald scalp gives us hope for reactivating those stem cells." notes Cotsarelis.

The luncheon is at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, February 14, 2012, in the Lenape Room of the University Club. Cost and University Club details.