MUSC The Catalyst
MUSC arial view


MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsCatalyst PDF FileMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause

MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause


Peng lecture slated for April 8

Thomas Dawson, a featured speaker at the second annual Peng Lecture Series April 8 is a Procter & Gamble biologist sitting on the $6-billion tip of a scientific research mountain.

“The Science of Hair: An Industrial and Academic Perspective” is a Peng lectureship featuring Dawson, principal scientist in hair care in the P&G beauty technology division, and Alexander Awgulewitsch, associate professor in the rheumatology and immunology division of the MUSC Department of Medicine. The lectures will be from 3 to 5 p.m. in QF302A, a third floor classroom of the South Carolina College of Pharmacy’s MUSC campus. The lecture is free and open to the public, though the subject matter is targeted to health professionals and students.

The program is sponsored in part by an education grant from Vincent Peng, a 1966 graduate of the MUSC College of Pharmacy who later became a dermatologist, graduating from the MUSC College of Medicine in 1970. He and his wife Cecelia have established the Dr. Vincent and Cecelia Peng Endowed Chair in Melanoma and Cutaneous Oncology, which supports the Peng Lectureship in Dermatologic Therapy at the MUSC campus of the South Carolina College of Pharmacy. Head & Shoulders, a P&G flagship product that leads the $6 billion anti-dandruff shampoo market, took 10 years to develop before it hit the shelves in 1961.

Since the late 1990s, the company has looked to Dawson and his colleagues to develop genetic tools to identify how microflora in the scalp cause flaking. They discovered that dandruff is caused by Malassezia globosa and M. restricta and subsequently identified LIP1, the gene M. globosa uses to break down scalp oils. P&G has since patented 12 genes contained in the M. globosa genome. Dawson’s lecture on “Dandruff and Seborrheic Dermatitis: Are Flakes Bugging You or are Bugs Flaking You?” is the first hour, followed by Awgulewitsch’s lecture on “Systemic Implications of Defining Hox-Regulatory Pathways in Hair Follicle Differentiation.”

There will be a Q-and-A after each lecture with a reception immediately following in the Anderson House next door to the college.

A renowned scientist with an extensive background in Hox gene research including specific study of the roles of selected Hox genes in skin and hair follicle development, Awgulewitsch is the director of the MUSC Transgenic Mouse Core Facility. He is currently the primary investigator of an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health to define the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathological developments in follicular and epidermal keratinocytes in transgenic mice overexpressing Hoxc13.

The first Peng Lectureship was held Oct. 17 at MUSC. Speakers at the Peng Symposium on Wound Healing included Thomas A. Mustoe, MD, Chief of Plastic Surgery at Northwestern University; John H. Samies, MD, Medical Director at Regional Medical Center, Orangeburg; William A. Marston, MD, Division of Vascular Surgery at the University of North Carolina; and Xuejun Wen, MD, PhD, Clemson-MUSC Bioengineering Program.

For more information, contact Marianne Rogers at 792-3111 or at

Online March 19, 2010

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.