In 2007, Jerry Shapiro was granted a faculty appointment as Adjunct Professor of the Department of Dermatology at New York University School of Medicine, where he conducts a dedicated hair clinic and teaches. Dr. Jerry Shapiro also holds a faculty position as Clinical Professor in the Department of Dermatology and Skin Science at the University of British Columbia. He received his MD from McGill University in Montreal and did his specialty in Dermatology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. In 1986, he founded the Hair Disorders Clinic. In the early years Dr. Shapiro worked diligently to establish a focused clinic for patients afflicted with inflammatory, hormonal, and idiopathic hair and scalp disorders. Prior to this a dedicated clinical service for these patients, who have difficult-to-manage and time-intensive problems, did not exist anywhere in Canada and there were only a handful of centers in the US. By 1989, Dr. Shapiro had become one of the first to pioneer the use of topical immunotherapy for alopecia areata in North America, proving conclusively that this novel therapy was indeed effective Hair experts from across North America have consulted Dr. Shapiro for the "Vancouver Protocol" for administering topical immunotherapy. This recognition is paralleled by the dozens of patients from the US, Canada, Europe, South America, and the Middle East who are seen by Dr. Shapiro and his team each year at the Hair Clinic. The Hair Clinic is now easily one of the top 5 clinics in the world in terms of patient volume and scope of practice in relation to clinical hair problems. In 1992, he incorporated hair transplantation into the University of British Columbia Hair Clinic as he recognized the surgical technique as an important treatment modality not only for androgenetic alopecia but also for those inflicted by scars from accidents, burns and congenital deformities.
In 1986, Dr. Shapiro recognized the need to understand hair biology at a more fundamental level in order to better meet the needs of patients. Again, by working methodically, he expanded the Hair Research Lab from one bench to a 1,000 square foot facility in the Vancouver General Hospital Research Pavilion. The research is supported by the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, the Canadian Dermatology Foundation, and the Canadian Hair Research Foundation. Dr. Shapiro's research has been focused on dissecting the mechanistic aspects of restoring normal hair growth in androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata and as a model for understanding wound healing, autoimmunity, and carcinogenesis. The Hair Research Lab has been invited to present its work at the US National Institutes of Health on three separate occasions. Dr. Shapiro's travels extensively for invited international lectures and visiting professorships.
Dr. Shapiro is past-presidency of the North American Hair Research Society after serving as Secretary-Treasurer for 6 years as well as past president of the Canadian Society for Investigational Dermatology.
Dr. Shapiro has raised the profile of hair research and the medical relevance of disordered hair growth by founding the Canadian Hair Research Foundation (CHRF). Two years ago, the CHRF received the Public Education Award from the Canadian Dermatology Association in recognition of the valuable patient education resources that Dr. Shapiro established with the CHRF.
Locally Dr. Shapiro also established the Alopecia Support Group for his patients, which has led to his recognition by the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF), the largest patient support and advocacy group for hair disorders in the world. Jerry has been invited to speak at NAAF meetings throughout the United States, and has also served on their Scientific Advisory Panel to adjudicate research grants.
Dr. Shapiro has become one of the thought leaders in hair disorders. He has published numerous articles, book chapters and has single-authored the textbook on hair: "Hair Loss: Principles of Diagnosis and Management". This volume is now a core textbook for all Canadian dermatology residents. Dr. Shapiro has also co-authored a book for the lay public on alopecia areata which has become a best-seller for those who have the condition.
Finally, Dr. Shapiro was the first in the world to develop a comprehensive medical and surgical Hair Fellowship training program based at VGH and UBC. This program was launched in 1998 and has attracted trainees from New York, Montreal, Detroit, the Philippines, and Singapore. This fellowship has now become highly coveted and well-recognized.
Dr. Shapiro has provided leadership and excellence in all three areas of clinical care, research, and teaching in the field of hair.
What Dr. Shapiro began as a modest clinic aimed at filling a local clinical void has now flourished into an international centre of excellence for hair biology and its disorders.