Plenary speakers HairS'21
(University Hospital Bonn, DE)
Stefanie Heilmann-Heimbach is a research fellow at the Institute of Human Genetics at the University Hospital in Bonn, where she is heading the research group on male-pattern hair loss. Dr. Heilmann-Heimbach’s obtained her PhD in Molecular Biomedicine and her Habilitation in Human Genetics from the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University in Bonn. Her research is focused on understanding the genetic and biological causes of male-pattern hair loss. Over the years, Dr. Heilmann-Heimbach has significantly contributed to the identification and biological interpretation of genetic risk factors for male-pattern hair loss. Her research has been awarded several prices, including the Ulmer Dermatologiepreis 2020.
Male-pattern hair loss (MPHL) is an age-dependent, highly heritable trait with a lifetime prevalence of ~80% in European men. The phenotype is characterized by a distinctive pattern of progressive hair loss from the scalp. The pathobiology of MPHL remains incompletely understood and current MPHL treatments can have severe adverse effects and are of limited efficacy in many patients. Therefore, studies that clarify the biological underpinnings of key-pathophysiological features of MPB and enable the identification of novel molecular targets for more effective therapeutic intervention are needed. Molecular genetic studies that enable the systematic identification of early causal events have proven to be very successful in the elucidation of the (patho)biologocial basis of MPHL. Over the past decade, genome-wide association studies have identified more than 300 genomic loci that contribute to MPHL development that yielded unprecedented insights into contributing genes, pathways and disease mechanisms as well as the association of MPHL with other human traits and disorders. In my talk, I will give an overview on past achievements and current trends in MPHL genetic research and their potential for MPHL prediction and treatment.