Jennifer Van Wyk

Research Scientist

Jennifer Van Wyk

Research Scientist

Dr Jennifer Van Wyk earned her PhD in Biotechnology focusing on enzyme engineering and three-dimensional modelling of enzyme structures. She transitioned into hair research in 2014 when she managed the establishment of the Hair and Skin Research (HSR) Lab, Division of Dermatology, University of Cape Town. In 2015, she was appointed the Group Leader for the Hair Structure, Geometry and Biochemistry Group in the HSR lab where she led several clinical projects investigating the diagnostic/clinical application of hair. This includes the use of hair as a testing substrate for various applications including detection and monitoring of hyperglycemia in diabetic patients, using cortisol levels as an indicator of stress in patients with myocardial infraction, using cortisol as an indicator of stress for alopecia areata and using hair to monitor drug compliance in HIV and TB patients.

Dr Van Wyk joined the Hair Research team at TRI Princeton in June 2018. She is interested in understanding different hair types, the relationship between the physical and biochemical properties of hair and the interaction of hair with cosmetic ingredients. She has extensive experience in investigating the physical and biochemical properties of hair using various techniques including chromatography, mass spectrometry, spectrophotometry, spectroscopy, thermal analysis, tensile testing, fatigue testing.


When not in the lab, you can find her either running/cycling on the trails in / around Princeton or looking for a mountain to climb.

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