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Hair Cloning
Interview with Dr Ken Washenik from Bosley

Dr Ken Washenik - Medical Director of the Aderans Research Institute. conducted this revealing two hour interview with Dr. Ken Washenik at the Aderans Research Institute's offices in Beverly Hills, California in December 2002.


HAIRLOSSHELP: What is the state of the Aderans Research Institute? Is it functional?

DR WASHENIK: The ARI was officially opened on July 1, 2002. We have a laboratory in Philadelphia which is where Kurt Stenn is stationed, our Chief Scientific Officer. It’s housed in a biotech incubator space at the University of Pennsylvania. And at the same time in Atlanta we have a laboratory which is where our bioengineering group is located.

HAIRLOSSHELP: Who does what at the two facilities?

DR WASHENIK: The group in Philadelphia is looking at the molecular cell biology aspect and the group in Atlanta is looking at how we take those cells and put them into the patient's skin in a way that’s routine and gives predictable results from patient to patient.

HAIRLOSSHELP: Is Bioamide part of the group in Atlanta?

DR WASHENIK: Yes, that was formerly Bioamide which was acquired by us and combined with some additional scientists under Kurt Stenn.

HAIRLOSSHELP: When you took over Bioamide they were already working on their own projects. Have you let them continue working on their existing projects or have you diverted them to now work on something that you have envisioned is the right way to go?

DR WASHENIK: I would say both. The scope of what they were working on has definitely been expanded because of the scientists in Philadelphia and a broadening of the cellular biology knowledge that Kurt Stenn's group has brought into it, but the basic concept is still the same.

HAIRLOSSHELP: The reason why I am asking is that they have an existing patent whereby they inject cells under the skin as a progenitor of a hair follicle, which was very interesting.

DR WASHENIK: Yes, they are still working on that and all the intellectual property they had before they are continuing to work on now.

HAIRLOSSHELP: How successful was that research?

DR WASHENIK: If you look at publicly presented publications on this technology, hair cloning, there are only two records of people having done that with human hair. One was Colin Jahoda who had that paper published in Nature, and the other one was Tom Barrows from Bioamide who presented a paper at a bio engineering conference in Switzerland in 2001. Bioamide did grow hair in one patient using cultured dermal follicular fibroblasts or dermal papilla cells. So they are the only ones who have taken human cells, cultured them, injected them back into a person and have gotten hair to grow.

HAIRLOSSHELP: Was this follicular neogenesis, creating brand new follicles from scratch, or reactivating an existing dormant follicle?

DR WASHENIK: It was follicular neogenesis, creating a follicle from scratch. Now not enough work has been done yet for us to know if this will always be the case. We don’t know if a surgeon who places a progenitor of cells near a dormant follicle will cause it to be reactivated. I would prefer that this be the case because then we don’t have to worry about direction, location and naturalness of the hair. So that’s my fantasy but it looks for now like it will be follicular neogenesis.

Continue to Part 2

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