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Exploiting the inherent properties of dermal cells to engineer hair follicles

Date: Wed 2 Dec 2015, 15:00 - 16:00

Location: PP1 Lecture Theatre, People's Palace, Mile End

Dr Claire Higgins, Imperial College
During morphogenesis, hair follicles are formed as a result of interactions between mesenchymal and epithelial cell populations. A key component of these interactions is the dermal condensate which becomes known as the dermal papilla of the adult hair follicle. Just as the dermal condensate drives follicle development, the dermal papilla of the adult follicle is necessary for hair follicle cycling. Dermal papillae also maintain embryonic characteristics and when removed the follicle and placed against non-hairy epidermis, can induce growth of de novo hair follicles. However, when human dermal papilla cells are grown in culture they quickly lose their inductive capacity. In this talk, I will present methods we used to reinstate the inductive capacity of human dermal papilla cells in culture. I will also discuss the current approaches we are using to identify master regulators of hair follicle inductivity and hair fate.