2014 Alopecia Areata Research Summit Highlights Recent Breakthroughs
The fifth Alopecia Areata Research Summit, From Targets to Treatments: Bridging Autoimmune Research to Advance Understanding of Alopecia Areata, brought together leading experts with new investigative partners to discuss exciting new discoveries and identify opportunities to further advance alopecia areata research. This meeting, held December 4 to 5 in Bethesda, Maryland, represented a pivotal moment for alopecia areata research and treatment development with early stage clinical trials of drugs targeting auroimmune pathways showing promising hair regrowth for the first time ever. Among the 90 participants were representatives from five different branches of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and several biopharmaceutical companies with relevant clinical initiatives, as well as experts in the fields of hair and skin disease research, clinical care, basic science, immunology, and autoimmunity from more than 35 academic institutions and research centers across the globe, and representatives of the patient community that any potential treatment would be designed to serve.
Our three outstanding co-chairs, Drs. David Norris, Julian Mackay-Wiggan, and Jeff Frelinger, worked together to develop a packed program focused on 1) autoimmune and immunological aspects of alopecia areata; 2) recent genetic developments and new therapeutic targets; 3) emerging animal models; 4) new research technologies and directions; and 5) clinical aspects, epidemiology and tools to advance research.