Epigenetics of alopecia areata
In addition to the genes themselves, epigenomic processes (factors which modify the expression of genes) are pivotal in determining the course of alopecia areata and can be used as markers of prognosis. Definition of the genetic and epigenetic underpinnings of alopecia areata will be truly transformative and has the potential to lead to new treatments for alopecia areata patients.
1) To define epigenetic risk factors contributing to allele specific variation in alopecia areata susceptibility genes; 2) To identify epigenetic risk factors contributing to alopecia areata disease occurrence and progression. These analyses in the bona fide target and effector tissues of alopecia areata will elucidate important epigenetic factors that play a role in alopecia areata disease susceptibility and progression, and may provide insight to other “common cause” autoimmune diseases.