Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Tongyu Cao Wikramanayke, Ph.D.

Tongyu Cao Wikramanayke, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery

Description of Research

Dr. Wikramanayake’s research focuses on understanding the regulation of hair follicle differentiation and cycling. The hair follicle is a miniorgan that goes through periodic growth and regression. During the growth phase, the hair matrix cells proliferate rapidly in the elongating hair follicle that makes a new hair shaft. At any given time, a vast majority of the human scalp hair follicles are in the growth phase, making them highly susceptible to antineoplastic chemotherapeutic agents, resulting in hair loss, termed chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA). CIA afflicts approximately 65% of patients undergoing chemotherapy, and has been consistently ranked as one of the most troublesome side effects of chemotherapy. Both men and women feel exposed and judged, for the loss of privacy of having cancer. Recent studies have shown biostimulative effects of low-level laser, and Dr. Wikramanayake’s lab is investigating how low-level laser may stimulate hair growth in order to translate the positive outcome from bench to clinic.


  • Established an adult rat model of chemotherapy-induced alopecia that closely mimics the clinical manifestations.
  • Demonstrated that treatment with low-level laser resulted in accelerated hair regrowth in a rat model of chemotherapy-induced alopecia.

Selected Cancer-Related Publications

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