After his medical studies at the Unversities of Wuerzburg, Berlin and Vienna, MD thesis work at the University of South Florida, Tampa, USA, and an internship at the University Hospitals of Basle and Zurich, Switzerland, Ralf graduated from the Free University of Berlin (1987).

Following post-doctoral research at Yale University (1987-90), Ralf trained as a clinical dermatologist in Berlin, where he became consultant dermatologist and junior faculty at the Charité University Hospital. From 1999-2004 Ralf served as Professor and Vice-Chair of the Dept. of Dermatology, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, University of Hamburg. He was Visiting Scholar at the University of California, San Diego (1992), Visiting Professor at the Dept. of Molecular Medicine at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry, Munich-Martinsried (2005), and Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Bradford until 2010 and again since 2012.

After taking up  his current position as Head of Experimental Dermatology, Dept. of Dermatology, University of Luebeck, Germany (2005), Ralf  joined the University of Manchester in 2008 as Professor of Cutaneous Medicine).

Ralf has been Editor of Experimental Dermatology since 2007.

Collaborators and affiliated staff

Professor Enrique Amaya - The Healing Foundation, University of Manchester


Professor Ralf Paus researches into hair disorders, skin neuroendocrinology,  and the science and applications of stem cells residing in the skin.

Research interests

Ralf researches into the biology and pathology of the hair follicle as a microcosmic miniorgan in which many of the fundamental problems of biology can be studied exemplarily. Currently, he is most intrigued by the astounding neuroendocrine properties of the human hair follicle, their impact on mitochondrial function and hair follicle immune status, and the use ofadult stem cells populations associated with human skin appendages for regenerative medicine pursposes. 

Ralf's particular interest is in:

  • better defining and in manipulating various neuroendocrine pathways established in the human hair follicle (HPA and HPT axis equivalent systems) and in elucidating novel functions of this neuroendocrine activity
  • neuroendocrine controls of mitochondrial activity and biogenesis in human skin
  • understanding the controls and functions of hair follicle immune privilege and its disorders that lead to alopecia areata or scarring alopecia
  • characterizing, selectively labelling, isolating and differentiating various stem cells populations associated with human scalp skin and its appendages
  • role of clock genes in human growth control

Methodologically, Ralf employs mainly human hair follicle and scalp skin organ culture, K15-GFP+ human epithelial hair follicle stem cells, and immunohistology/immunofluorescence, and analyzes the hair and skin phenotype of relevant mouse mutants.

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