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HairClone’s scientific advisor, Dr. Claire Higgins, has been awarded first place for the “Martha Schwarzkopf” award, a research prize that recognises and promotes outstanding female researchers in the scientific industry. The award was created by consumer brand Henkel as part of the legacy of Martha Schwarzkopf. Martha was one of the first women to become a managing director in Germany, just two years after women’s suffrage was introduced, and is a role model for an entire generation of women and entrepreneurs. Dr Higgins is one of only two women to have received this award to date

Henkel presented the Martha Schwarzkopf award on the 21st November 2023 at an award ceremony in Düsseldorf, Germany. The aim of the award is to increase support for women in science, as they continue to be underrepresented within the field. This includes sectors such as life sciences, physical and medical sciences, and computer sciences.

Along with prize money, the winners also receive access to scientific exchange along with support and mentoring for their research by experts at Henkel. This allows Henkel to “support outstanding female researchers in advancing the science of hair and the hair follicle”, comments Frank Meyer, the Head of R&D Henkel Customer Brands. An expert jury decided this year’s winners based on the relevance, strength and spirit of the individual’s research.

Dr. Claire Higgins, from Imperial College London, focuses her research on human hair follicles and how they interact with the skin environment. Her research also uses human hair follicles as a model system to understand the mechanisms of tissue development and regeneration, which could potentially be used for engineering new tissues and structures. Claire is also President of the European Hair Research Society, and has been working within the hair follicle research field since 2003.

“I hope that scientific work like mine will contribute to effective technologies and patented products that can help promote hair growth and reduce skin scarring”

Second place was awarded to Prof. Dr. Yan Zhang from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, for her work on glycobiological relationships in medicine and immunology. The emerging talent prize went to Dr. Yan Huang from the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, New York, where she researches the pathogenesis and treatment of androgenic alopecia areata. HairClone would like to congratulate Claire and the other winners for this achievement and furthering the hair research field.

Read more about the award and this years’ winners here.