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Professor Val Randall

PositionProfessor of Biomedical Sciences
LocationRoom H38E, Richmond Building
DepartmentSchool of Chemistry and Bioscience
RKT CentreCentre for Skin Sciences
Telephone+ 44 (0) 1274 233574

Research Interests (key words only)

Skin Physiology, Endocrinology, Androgens, hair growth, Hair pigmentation, Pathogenesis of alopecia areata, Sebaceous glands


My experience ranges from basic scientific research using various in vitro and animal models to basic and clinical studies involving patients and normal volunteers. My research has been supported by 4 Research Council project grants, a BBSRC-Industrial Case Studentship, national and international Charities, international industry and NESTA (44 grants and contracts; over £1.5 million). It has attracted 7 prizes at scientific conferences and many invitations to present plenary lectures at international conferences (e.g. see below), to edit, or contribute chapters to, research books, to chair workshops and scientific sessions at international conferences and to act as a Consultant to companies interested in commercial aspects of hair.  Publications include 3 edited books & about 90 papers, reviews etc. (see list at end). Supervised 21 research students to successful graduation.

I have often acted as a Consultant for both UK and international industry.  This ranges from individual consultations about particular experimental approaches to investigate new treatments through requests for written reports/single day international group consultations to 2 year+ on Scientific Advisory Groups. Due to the sensitive nature of this work, these consultations, and often the names of the companies involved, are confidential.

Study History

  • B.Sc (Hons) Zoology, 2 (i)  University of Sheffield (1973)
  • Ph.D. in Endocrinology, Univ. of Sheffield (1979) Supervisor: Prof. John Ebling
  • Certificate in Higher & Further Education, Distinction Manchester Univ. (1984) 

Professional History

As well as the full posts listed below,  I held various short-term positions as a part-time Lecturer or Demonstrator, while employed as a researcher before my first academic position. These were at the University of Sheffield, the University of Leeds and the Open University.

  • Professor of Biomedical Sciences, University of Bradford  (2000- ) Personal Chair (University Honour requiring External Referees & External Assessors)
  • Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences, University of Bradford  (1991-2000) 
  • Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences, University of Bradford  (1987-1991)
  • Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University  (1985-1986)  
  • Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University (1984-1985)  
  • Research Fellow, University of Leeds (1982-1984)
  • Research Fellow/Experimental Officer/Research Student, University of Sheffield (1973-1981)

Professional Activities

  • Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Science (FIBMS)
  • Fellow of the Society of Biology (FSB)
  • Chartered Biologist (CBiol)
  • Chair, Scientific Committee, 7th World Congress of Hair Research, 2013
  • Basic Science Contributor, ISHRS Hair Transplant Forum International (2008-
  • Member, Faculty of 1000 Medicine (2004-2010)
  • President, European Hair Research Society (1996-99) 
  • Secretary, European Hair Research Society (1992-96)
  • Chair or Member, Organising Committee for 15 scientific conferences e.g. European Hair Research Society, Barcelona, 2012
  • Member, International Committee for Investigational Guidelines for Alopecia Areata (2003-
  • External Assessor/Reviewer: Academic staff promotions e.g. Jordan University of Science and Technology, Jordon. Research grants e.g. National Science Foundation,USA. International journals e.g. Science Translational Medicine, PhD degrees e.g. Univ of Waikato,New Zealand
  • Consultant: for various industrial companies(1993-
  • Executive Committee Member, Heads of University Centres of Biomedical Sciences (HUCBMS) 2012-   (previously 2001-04)
  • Chair, Yorkshire Branch Society of Biology 2011-
  • Member of Council, Institute of Biology (2004-2010 - elected x2)
  • Member of Editorial Board, Journal of Endocrinology (1997-2002)
  • Member, Committee of the Society for Endocrinology & Council of Management for the Society for Endocrinology (1993-7)
  • External Assessor: Research Assessment Exercise Review (’07) - 2 Universities
  • External Examiner: BSc & MSc e.g. Queen Mary’s Medical School, University of London.Research degrees e.g. PhDs, Univ of Durham


Research Areas

  • Skin physiology and endocrinology, particularly the mode of action of androgens (male sex hormones) in the hair follicle and sebaceous gland 
  • Mechanisms of action of hair-growth promoters e.g. ion channel regulators like minoxidil
  • Hair pigmentation
  • Pathogenesis of alopecia areata
  • Sebaceous glands
  • Seasonal changes in human hair growth
  • Developing hair follicles on deer stag antlers

Skin physiology and endocrinology, particularly the mode of action of androgens (male sex hormones) in the hair follicle and sebaceous gland has strong relevance to the understanding and treatment of androgen-potentiated disorders such as hirsutism (excessive hair growth in women) and androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness) in both men and women.

Current Projects

  • Investigation into factors regulating hair growth
  • The mechanism of androgen action in the hair follicle
  • Role of KATP channel closers in hair follicles



  • Van Neste, D and Randall, V A (eds.) (1996). Hair research for the next Millennium. Associate editors H Baden, H Ogawa and R Oliver. Elsevier Science BV, Amsterdam. (518 pp).
  • Camacho, F, Randall, V A and Price V (eds.) (2000) Hair biology and its disorders: biology, pathology and management. Martin Dunitz, London (35 chapters; 407 pages)

Chapters In Books

  • Randall VA (2001) Physiology and pathophysiology of androgenetic alopecia. In: Endocrinology Eds. L J Degroot & J L Jameson Section XIV Male Reproduction Ed. H G Burger 4th Ed pp. 2257-2268, W B Saunders Co
  • Randall VA (2003) Androgen influence on hair growth. In: Hair, Nail and Skin: Structure and Function. Eds. B. Forslind & M. Lindberg, pp.365-389.Marcell & Dekker,New York.
  • Randall VA (2004) The paradoxical effects of androgens on human hair growth. In: Testosterone; Action, Deficiency, Substitution. Eds. E. Nieschlag & H.M.Behre. 3rd Edition, pp. 207-231Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
  • Randall VA (2005) Physiology and pathophysiology of androgenetic alopecia. In: Endocrinology Eds. L J Degroot & J L Jameson Section XIV Male Reproduction Ed. H G Burger 5th Ed Ch 178, pp 3295-3309 W B Saunders Co., Philadelphia
  • Randall VA (2008) The endocrine control of the hair follicle In: Textbook on Hair Eds. U Blume, D Whiting, A Tosti & R Trueb Ch 2, pp 23-39 Springer-Verlag
  • Randall VA & Botchkareva NV (2009) The biology of hair growth In: Ahluwalia GA, ed. Cosmetic applications of laser and light based systems.Ch 1, pp.3-35 William Andrew Inc., USA

Invited Reviews

  • Davies GC & Randall VA (2006) Hair growth and potassium channels. Clinical Dermatology: Retinoids and other treatments 22: 3-7
  • Randall VA (2007) Hormonal regulation of hair follicles exhibits a biological paradox Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology: Development of epidermal appendages.Ed: D Headon 18, 274-285
  • Randall VA (2008) Androgens and hair growth. Dermatologic Therapy 21, 314-328

Invited Commentary

  • Randall, VA (2001) Is alopecia areata an autoimmune disease? Lancet 8 358 (9297): 1922-4.


  • Randall VA, Hibberts NA, Thornton MJ, Hamada K, Merrick AE, Kato S, Jenner TJ, DeOliveira I, Messenger AG. (2001) The hair follicle: a paradoxical androgen target organ. Hormone Research 54, 243-50.
  • Randall VA, Hibberts NA, Thornton MJ, Merrick AE, Hamada K, Kato S, Jenner TJ, DeOliveira I, Messenger AG. (2001) Do androgens influence hair growth by altering the paracrine factors secreted by dermal papilla cells? European Journal of Dermatology. 11, 315-20
  • Thornton MJ, Hibberts NA, Street T, Brinklow BR, Loudon AS, Randall VA. (2001) Androgen receptors are only present in mesenchyme-derived dermal papilla cells of red deer (Cervus elaphus) neck follicles when raised androgens induce a mane in the breeding season. Journal of Endocrinology 168, 401-408.
  • Randall VA, Sundberg JP, Philpott MP (2003) Animal and in vitro models for the study of hair follicles. Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings 8: 39-45.
  • Randall VA (2003) Biological effect of androgens on the hair follicle: experimental approaches . Van Neste D (ed) Hair, Science & Technology Skinterface, Tournai, Belgium pp 75-79.
  • Croft NJ, Randall VA. (2003) The antler of the red deer (Cervus elaphus): an androgen target organ. Van Neste D (ed) Hair Science & Technology Skinterface, Tournai, Belgium pp 69-74.
  • Olsen EA, Hordinsky M, Price VH, Roberts J, Shapiro J; Canfield D; Duvic M; Kalabokes V; King L; McMichael A; Randall V; Sperling L; Turner M; Whiting DA; Norris D (2004) Alopecia areata investigational assessment guidelines ¿ part ii. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 51: 440-447.
  • Davies GC, Thornton MJ, Jenner TJ, Chen YC, Hansen JB, Carr RD, Randall VA (2005) Novel and established potassium channel openers stimulate hair growth in vitro: implications for their modes of action in hair follicles. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 125: 686-694.
  • Hamada K & Randall V A (2006) Inhibitory autocrine factors produced by the mesenchyme-derived hair follicle dermal papilla may be a key to male pattern baldness. British Journal of Dermatology 154: 609-618.
  • Randall VA, Lanigan S, Hunzani I, Chamberlain James L (2006) New dimensions in hirsutism. Lasers in Medical Science 21: 126-133.
  • Shorter K, Farjo N P, Picksley SM & Randall VA (2008) Human hair follicles contain two forms of ATP sensitive potassium channels, only one of which is sensitive to minoxidil. FASEB Journal 22: 1725-1736 doi: 10.1096/fj.07-099424.
  • Randall V A, Jenner T, Hibberts N, De Oliveira I & Vafaee T (2008) Stem cell factor/c-kit signalling in normal and androgenetic alopecia hair follicles. Journal of Endocrinology 197: 1-14 doi: 10.1677/JOE-07-0522.

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