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Our newest edition of the HairClone team, Willow Abbott, has joined us as a Research Scientist. Willow’s role involves furthering the development HairClone’s cell therapy to treat androgenic alopecia, and exploring complementary strategies to improve and advance treatments for hair regeneration and restoration. 

Willow joins us following her graduation in the summer from the University of Birmingham, where she gained a First Class (Honours) Integrated Master’s degree in Biological Sciences. As part of her degree, she completed a 6-month laboratory placement within the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, based in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB). Here she researched the links between gut bacterial outer membrane vesicles and the immune system, which formed a solid basis of cell culture, handling of human samples and analytical skills that will be valuable to HairClone’s research.

Willow will be based at the laboratories within the BioHub Birmingham® at the Birmingham Research Park, which is a fully serviced biomedical laboratory and office space that houses a range of early-stage life science companies and is run by the University of Birmingham. After speaking to Angela Glover from the University of Birmingham Enterprise team, Willow commented “My placement made me realise how much I enjoy lab work, and I am really enjoying learning new techniques and approaches. Working for HairClone allows me to contribute to cell therapy research which aims to benefit people in the future, which is really exciting.” 

Willow’s appointment follows successful internships from two University of Birmingham students in the summer; Head of Research, Jennifer Dillon, commented “I was really impressed with the calibre of applications for our summer internships, so when it came to recruiting full-time, it was a no-brainer for us to go down that avenue again.” 

Operating out of the BioHub, Birmingham® provides invaluable links to personnel and facilities at the University of Birmingham. The university link allows recruitment from the talented graduate pool of candidates, in addition to access to specialist equipment that isn’t available within the BioHub. Furthermore, the laboratory management team at BioHub Birmingham® provide an extremely supportive and collaborative environment, and take care of servicing and maintaining equipment, allowing companies like HairClone to focus more time and energy on innovative treatments and services.

Read more about the University of Birmingham Enterprise’s interview with Willow and Jennifer on Linkedin here.