Christiano's work

In December of 2001, there was a show on the BBC describing A. Christiano’s work with the ‘bald gene’ she discovered. During the interview with her, she said she was developing a topical treatment to alleviate hirsutism. She was actually going to try it on some people with severe cases of hirsutism. She also said in about 6 months, which would me right now, she might be starting human trials for the medication. Has anyone heard anything about this?

Dr. Angela Christiano is an expert in inherited skin and hair disorders. Her early work on mice has also been observed in humans, most notable the “bald gene” found in some mammals, which she isolated in 1997.

She is currently doing work into various ways to manipulate the genes in question, although it will probably be many years before a product is commercially available.

People who have tried to contact her office to volunteer for studies have been turned away lately. Personally, I’d wait until a few animal studies find something conclusive before I’d run down to a lab and get my genes mutated. :fearful:

Columbia University: Angela Christiano’s page

The hair loss sites are all over this, so if you go to hairsite, regrowth, or any of the opther biggies, you’ll find tons of discussion about Christiano’s work.

It will certainly be interesting to follow the progress of Dr. Christiano and others in the field!

Andrea, do you happen to know about some israeli scientist called amos gilhar? i’v read in consumer beware msg board he had some discovery related to hair reduction. although i live in israel i contact him.

Amos Gilhar. M.D. is a researcher at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa.

Dr. Gilhar received a grant from the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (who also has supported Dr. Christiano). Alopecia Areata is a condition where your own body has an immune response to hair follicles and kills them, often in circular patches.

Several hair and skin diseases appear to be forms of autoimmune disorder, where the body mistakes a product it has produces for a foreign invader and attacks it. Another example is vitiligo, a condition where the body kills off melanocytes, the structures that make hair pigment, which can cause pure white patches (especially in African-Americans).

Dr. Gilhar led a study that identified a certain protein generated by hair pigment-producing cells as the cause of alopecia. His findings are notable in that the balding effect can be transferred between mice an humans,

PubMed: Alopecia and T lymphocytes mouse study (1998)

PubMed: Similar Gilhar study (1999)

PubMed: similar study (2001)

You can reach Dr. Gilhar at Technion, although I usually suggest consumers avoid taking time away from researchers to answer basic hair questions.

Technion website

These theories have all sorts of implications beyond cosmetic uses, including cures for other autoimmune disorders and cancers.

As far as commercially-available uses that will benefit consumers, were are still a long way off.

[ June 28, 2002, 11:38 AM: Message edited by: Andrea ]

Andrea, if you had to invest in any one company/technique for the FUTURE doing hair removal research right now, which would it be and why? Thanks for you work, Frank

That’s an interesting question! I believe I would be looking into the eflornithine actions on the hair growth matrix, and the p53 gene/5-alpha reductase connections. I believe the next major breakthrough will be selective disabling of the chemical process that regulates the hair growth cycle. Both appear to have an effect on this. Cells are programmed to die at a certain time (apoptosis), but this mechanism is not well understood yet.

In other words, the next breakthrough will probably control hair at the cellular level, followed by a method to control it at the genetic level. Both methods are a VERY long way off before being commercially available for human use for cosmetic treatment of unwanted hair.

First let me say, I think you and your cats are awesome, and I don’t even like cats. I’ve had unwanted hair issues my whole life and have tried the gauntlet; you name it, and I’ve tried it. For the record I’ll say the best results I’ve experienced are laser, but not remotely permanent, painless, or without a couple of weeks of irritated red skin, and when this is on your face, it can be problematic.

The reason I’m asking your opinion of the future is because my wife and I are both relatively hairy, don’t get me wrong, we’re not the missing links. However, we are expecting our second daughter and are pretty sure she’ll be sort-of hairy like her sister…

So, I got to thinking I’d like to invest in a method to A) help the process along, and B) maybe make some $$$ for her college tuition. I will qualify this by saying I relieve you of any liability if my investment turns south, I’m really just asking for your expert opinion.

So, can you tell me specifically who or what I can contact regarding eflornithine actions on the hair growth matrix, and the p53 gene/5-alpha reductase connections?



If you’re asking about investment opportunities, you probably won’t get a return on your investment for a VERY long time. This stuff is still all highly clinical and even theoretical.

Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline are doing work in this area. Look for people working with topical isoflavones and topical antiandrogens for the first wave of consumer products.


Hi Andrea, I haven’t posted in a while but I was just wondering if you think that there is there will be anything coming out within the next few years that is any better than what is out there today such as lasers and electrolysis? I agree with you about the first wave of Permanent treatments being on the cellular level and the second wave being on the genetic level. It seems that this is the way new baldness treatments will work as well. I am actually one of the people that has been in contact with Dr. Christiano and have asked her to let me know when they are to begin clinical trials. She responded and told me she would notify me. I was actually thinking of emailing her one more time and asking how close they are to beginning these clinical trials. Her treatment seems to be on the cellular level as well. I haven’t been keeping up with research lately but her recent articles have suggested that her first potential cure will not be gene therapy. This could bode well in getting it through the FDA and getting it to market sooner. Hopefully we’ll have something significant within the next couple of years. You can definitely tell it is coming. There are so many things in the cosmetic pipeline such as cell injections of your own collegen among others. Permanent hair removal stands to make alot of money.