Dallas Doctor Finds the Root of Balding and Graying Hair and Is Working on Treatment

When the mice went gray and bald, the doctor knew he was onto something.For more than ten years, Dr. Lu Le had studied cells and genes hoping to understand the roots of cancer and further the search for a cure.Instead, in his lab at UT Southwestern Medical Center, he discovered something unexpected - a chemical and biological process that could explain gray hair and bald heads in people.Science often works this way. A search in one direction leads to an entirely different discovery in another. For Le, baldness and graying weren’t concerns of his research. And yet, there they were, gray and bald mice inside his lab.“We accidentally, serendipitously, discovered the cell that directly gives rise to hair. That was new,” said Le, associate professor in the department of dermatology with the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center.Now Le, who at 46 has a few flecks of gray in a full head of black hair, is hoping to create a topical compound or other remedy that could turn back the clock on thinning and graying hair.“That’s within the realm of possibility,” Le said, “and we’re working in the lab to do that for that next step.”  Continue reading...

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