Platinum Follicle Award

The Platinum Follicle Award is given for “Outstanding achievement in basic scientific or clinically-related research in hair pathophysiology or anatomy as it relates to hair restoration.”

The award was presented to Dr. Bernstein at the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery 9th Annual Meeting, October 18-22, 2001; Puerta Vallarta, Mexico.

The Follicle Award is the highest honor given by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. At the awards ceremony, Dr. Marcelo Gandelman, the President of the ISHRS stated:

“I proudly present the 2001 Platinum Follicle Award to Robert M. Bernstein, MD. Dr. Bernstein has contributed to the field of hair transplantation in dramatic and substantial ways, revolutionizing the advancement of Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation. His published articles have become ‘Bibles’ for this methodology. Dr. Bernstein’s contributions extend beyond the application of Follicular Unit Transplantation, such as studies in examining the power of sorting grafts for density, yield by method of graft production, local anesthetic use, and suture materials. These studies have added to the specialty’s depth and breadth of knowledge applicable to traditional mini-micrografting techniques as well as Follicular Unit Transplantation.”

Background on Dr. Bernstein by James A. Harris, M.D., F.A.C.S.


Dr. Bernstein has been involved in hair transplantation since 1995, and since then has contributed to this field in very dramatic and substantial ways. He took, what was at the time, a somewhat ill defined methodology and turned follicular unit hair transplantation (FUHT) into one of the most revolutionary advancements in hair restoration. His publications regarding this methodology elucidate, in a straightforward manner, the logic of this technique and the details for its clinical application. For relative newcomers in this field, as well as experienced surgeons, the publications on “Follicular Transplantation” (Int. Journal Aesthetic and Restorative Surgery 1995), “Follicular Transplantation: Patient Evaluation and Surgical Planning” (Derm Surg 1997), and “The Aesthetics of Follicular Transplantation” (Derm Surg 1997) have become the “handbooks” or “bibles” for this methodology. Countless patients, including myself, have received the benefits of this technique.

His contributions have extended beyond the just the theoretical application of FUHT. His studies examining the power of sorting grafts for density (ISHRS 8th Annual Meeting, 2000), yield by method of graft production (Forum, 2001), local anesthetic use (Forum, 2000), and suture materials (Derm Surg 2001) have added to the specialty’s depth and breadth of knowledge which is applicable to traditional mini-micrografting techniques as well as FUHT.

Dr. Bernstein has been a frequent contributor to meetings of the ISHRS, having participated in over twenty presentations, workshops, and focus sessions since 1996. He is sought after for his knowledge and expertise in this field and is respected by his colleagues, regardless of their theoretical orientation. Dr. Bernstein has also served on the Scientific and Education and the Ad Hoc Preceptorship Committees of the ISHRS. His impact on the clinical aspects of hair transplantation has not only been through his direct contributions by publications and lectures, but indirectly through his involvement with the ISHRS committees and their impact on the specialty in general.

On a personal note, when I first entered this field, I had many questions about a variety of topics. I contacted Dr. Bernstein, who had never met me, and he invited me to visit his office. Although in a sense I represented competition to Dr. Bernstein, he was always open to discussions related to theory or the application of the techniques he has described. I had the distinct impression that his concern for the patient and quest for the ideal transplantation methodology leads to his desire to teach and to eventually effect better patient outcomes.

Dr. Bernstein is a “champion” for the Follicular Unit Hair Transplant methodology; this is obvious by his presentations. But beyond this, he is a champion for the use of logic and rigorous scientific methodology in order to critically evaluate our techniques and outcomes. It is in this way that we, as a group of specialists, will be able to obtain the best results for our patients.

Dr. Bernstein’s contributions in research, publishing, and teaching, as well as his involvement in the ISHRS, have had a significant impact on the specialty of hair restoration surgery.


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