Dr Angela M. Christiano
Dr. Angela M. Christiano is an Associate Professor of Dermatology and Genetics & Development at Columbia University.
Her laboratory’s work is focused on the genetics and biology of hair loss, which began as a result of her own experience with alopecia areata. Dr Angela Christiano studied the genetics of those with Alopecia Areata (AA) and found the genes are more closely linked to autoimmune disorders than they ever imagined.
Dr Angela Christiano and her team have uncovered eight genes that underpin alopecia areata, one of the most common causes of hair loss. Since many of the genes are also implicated in other autoimmune diseases, including celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes — treatments have already been developed that target these genes — this discovery may soon lead to new treatments for the millions of people around the world suffering from hair loss caused by alopecia areata
Dr Angela Christiano noted her team’s discovery is important because it was originally thought that AA was more related to inflammatory diseases, such as psoriasis, where a particular cell attacks the skin.
At this point, this research isn’t saying anything drastic or concrete like — if you have celiac you’re going to get alopecia, or if you have alopecia go on the gluten-free diet and it will help you. However, other autoimmune disorders can run together in some families; like celiac and type 1 diabetes, so this is massive progress.
Check out Dr Angela Christianos interview with the NEW YORK TIMES in Dec 2010
Very exciting stuff 🙂
Thanks for reading!