The Latest at TRI

We are pleased to announce that Dr Thomas L Dawson, Jr, from Medical University of South Carolina, USA, will present a keynote lecture at the forthcoming 9th International Conference on Applied Hair Science, titled “Role of the scalp microbiome in health and disease: Malassezia, friend or foe?”. To book your ticket go to


The gut microbiome has achieved celebrity status, but the skin microbiome remains elusive, and poorly understood. Even many recent investigations on the skin biome focus more on bacteria via 16S sequencing, with few studies inclusive of metagenomic or ITS data sets which move beyond bacteria, despite nearly a billion people worldwide being affected by fungal disease.

Many recent studies indicate a causative role for fungi in common skin disorders such as dandruff / seborrheic dermatitis, and a role in making more severe many others including chronic wounds, atopic dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. However, the skin microbiome’s role remains unclear in maintenance of scalp and hair health. Out team has more than 20 years of experience defining the role of fungi in dandruff / seborrheic dermatitis, including causal species definition (Malassezia globosa), identification of pathogenic mechanisms, and clinical proof of concept validating one specific pathway, lipase mediated fatty acid production as an induction of inflammation.

Our recent work indicates the most common skin fungi, Malassezia, communicate with the human host immune system through specific lipid mediators. Study of the skin microbiome will provide a frame to define interaction of commensal microbes with the human immune system from a more easily accessed compartment (the skin surface) which is also more easily influenced (via topical treatment). However, future work will be required to elucidate the role of and targeted treatment for the skin leveraging the skin microbiome in human health and disease.

To further these investigations, the Skin Research Institute of Singapore (SRIS) launched a broad program to define the relationship between the skin microbiome and skin health, and to develop microbiome-focused skin health interventions in dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, acne, and healing of chronic wounds.

For more information about the conference contact us at

We are pleased to announce that Dr Steve Marschner, from Cornell University, USA, will present a keynote lecture at the forthcoming 9th International Conference on Applied Hair Science, titled “Simulating Light Scattering from Hair for Computer Graphics and Appearance Prediction”. To book your ticket go to


Realistic visual simulation of hair appearance is regularly used in animation and visual effects, and the same techniques can also be used to predict hair appearance for the development of hair care products. The appearance of hair depends on many factors including the structure, properties, and condition of fibers and the way they are assembled in space, but a universal core challenge in these simulation methods is to model optical scattering by individual fibers.

This talk will survey the technology of hair appearance simulation, starting from the simplest models based on ray interactions with circular cylinders to more advanced methods that model the effects of elliptical or other cross sectional shapes and that improve the accuracy and numerical properties of earlier models. The basic techniques for computing the appearance of a fiber assembly under multiple scattering will be described, and new work that computes fiber scattering using a 2D wave optics computation will be previewed.

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We are pleased to announce that Dr Evelyne Maes, from AgResearch, Food & Bio-Based Products, Lincoln Research Centre, New Zealand, will present a keynote lecture at the forthcoming 9th International Conference on Applied Hair Science, titled “Untangling a hairy science with molecular-level insights from mass spectrometry”. To book your ticket go to


Human hair exposure to environmental or consumer routine-induced insults introduces molecular modifications at the protein primary structural level that cause sensory and mechanical property changes in the fibers. Accumulation of such primary level modifications can alter performance attributes enough to be discernable to the consumer. Studying hair proteins by applying mass spectrometry-based proteomics strategies allows these modifications to be characterized.

One of the modification types of interest are protein-protein crosslinks. As protein-protein crosslinks underpin many of the key mechanical properties of all mammalian hairs, understanding the natural state of crosslinks in hairs and how they respond to insult is critical in the development of new treatments. Studying these modifications with mass spectrometry, however, is highly challenging both because mammalian fibers inherently contain high levels of protein-protein crosslinks, and also because it is difficult to analyze peptides derived from these fibers without disrupting the crosslinks. Using a stepwise approach, we successfully developed specific mass spectrometric methods to characterize and map protein-protein crosslinks within human hair.

Non-crosslink modifications to amino acids also form after exposure to insults such as heat and alkali treatments. To examine the extent and nature of modifications induced by these treatments, advanced redox proteomic techniques were used to map, evaluate and characterize amino acid residue changes in human hair.

This demonstrated the utility of mass spectrometry-based approaches to significantly enhance the mapping of damage-related modifications in fibers for a broad range of protein modification types.

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