Interview with Dr. Beren Atac & Dr. Gerd Lindner Alright, so I actually had a few chats with Dr. Beren Atac and Dr. Gerd Lindner. I ran into them multiple times throughout the congress and touched on many subjects. What I don't have is any audio recordings, so I only have SOME notes with me, but it doesn't make too much of a significant difference as there isn't a lot that has changed since last year's hair congress in South Korea. I gotta be honest, I don't know enough about the science behind it all to really give you guys enough info to report back on, so my gatherings will be a little limited. Then again, taking notes and continuing a discussion isn't easy. One of the first things I do recall when speaking with Dr. Atac is that the follicle shrinks when the DP shrinks, which results in miniaturization. Follicle shrinks in size due to too few DP cells in it. I asked how many of these cells do we need in a follicle to grow a fully terminal hair, and a fully growing hair follicle would have from 1200 to 3000 DP cells (roughly). If my memory serves me right, she said a more probable solution to follicle miniaturization would not be to create follicles from scratch and then implant them back but rather have simple injections, something like Replicel. They may succeed to grow follicles from scratch but they more likely grow a miniaturized hair back to a fully size hair follicle. When speaking with Dr. Lindner, I recall talking about funding and that they did in fact run into some problems getting funding from various sources and that crowdfunding was something they thought about and would probably be willing to explore as well. So yes, funding is definitely key here. In regards to timelines and what are the holdups, it's the bureaucracy as mentioned in my other thread. Just to get approval to conduct a mouse study can be as long as 6-9 months and requires professors reviews and sign offs, etc. To me that was mind boggling because I thought if Beren and Gerd are at the very top of hair loss research, WHO could be more qualified than them to give the green light? It makes no sense, it's like they're being held back by someone less qualified. Here's the interesting bit; they're aware of all the frustrations and criticisms about the 'within 5 years' claims, including their own from... 5 years ago lol when they said 'plans for clinical trials are already underway'. They still are actually... but in my opinion, if you removed all the redundant restrictions set upon various researchers them, they could have started their clinical trials about 3 years ago and more or less would have been where Replicel is today... or even been able to release a functional 'cure' in Japan before 2020. In regards to Japan and it's new regulations, it's definitely on their radar and they've got some plans. However, I've been told from another source that in order to actually take advantage of the new regulations and run your trials in Japan, you more or less need to partner with a Japanese team. Why? Because they want to bank on it too, and they know they will as South Korea is also going about a similar route to this, so there's kind of a rat race between countries to boost their economies. This actually heavily suggests why Replicel partnered with Shiseido! In any case, they know about Japan, I just hope they can find a partner. Currently the team is collaborating with another group from the Netherlands for skin skin transplants with hair follicle for trauma patients. They're (the also testing for toxicity as well as growth agents on microfollicles aming for finding new medications, I believe this is for the microfollicles. Oh, in regards to the microfollicle, they grow vellus hairs (not ideal for us). When I asked what it would take to create a terminal hair growing follicle, it is due to vascularization, meaning blood supply. When microfollicles are transplanted to a living organism, they get blood supply. This is something Dr. Beren Atac and company cannot provide in the lab right now. That is also the reason many studies are done on mice since the living organism provides blood supply thus the nutrients very effectively. I asked about what they think of the work of Tsuji Labs.... Beren said the work is different from last year’s but she's curious how the cells are cultivated. I also showed Beren www.swisstemples.com and his prostaglandin chart. She was impressed. She couldn't comment with 100% confidence to the accuracy of the pathways, but it looked more or less right. I say without 100% confidence because hormonal effects on the follicle isn't her expertise. In any case, I also showed her the photographs and she looked at the regimen. She mentioned that the UVB burns will likely mess with your epithelial cells which are necessary for follicle growth. However, wounding can stimulate the regeneration but she doesn’t think it would counter the repeated UVB burns. We also talked about current treatments and how MANY pills are often discarded for human use after they've failed on mice. This is actually illogical as there are many treatments that are harmful towards humans, but not towards mice. So we've likely got a lot of potential treatments that have been held back. However, this is where their 'Organ on a Chip' comes into play as it emulates actual organs in humans which can then be used to test various drugs/treatments. I believe a fully functional organ on a chip would need to emulate 9-11 organs, currently I think they've got 4 organs. In any case, this is actually pretty neat as it would also be used for testing stuff not just hair loss related. So, that's basically it I think. I don't think I can recall anything else from our discussions... I mean there definitely was more, but this is the stuff that stood out most to me and I've really only got one page of notes. Oh yeah! Last year Desmond mentioned there would be a new website. Many of you thought it was the TissUse website (http://www.tissuse.com/) , but it's not. Dr. Lindner actually had (still has) plans to setup a website about the teams progress. A domain name was registered but they never got around to doing it. I've offered help with this as I know how to get Wordpress sites up and running on servers, I suggested they setup a simple wordpress site with a cheap template from themeforest and just fill it with content. I don't think any of us care too much how it looks like but more so that the we can read about how they're doing, what's new and what's to expect in the future. In any case, the themeforest templates actually are quite nice a lot of times and pretty much all are 'mobile friendly'. This is actually something I would love to see from them because something like a facebook page would never get them 'likes' because too many people are ashamed of their hair loss to like/follow the page and have friends notice it and then ridicule them for it, which is exactly why I don't follow facebook fan pages and many others on this forum have not done so either for the SAME reason. A website would be great as I'd just bookmark it and check it out often. In conclusion, many thanks to Dr. Beren Atac and Dr. Gerd Lindner for taking the time out of their busy schedules (and opportunity to have fun in Miami) to put up with me! Meeting them was an honor and I also need to thank everyone at HairLossTalk for making it happen, you guys rock and definitely make this the BEST forum to talk about hair loss.