Steering committee-member, Member
Institute of Human Genetics
Medical Faculty, University of Bonn
University Hospital of Bonn
The aim of our research is the identification and functional characterization of genes for monogenic and genetically com-plex hair loss disorders with a major focus on the autoimmune disorder alopecia areata (AA). We have the largest sample of AA patients available worldwide, which includes a current total of more than 2.200 individuals of middle European origin. We have been able to demonstrate the contribution of the HLA-complex and the genes PTPN22, TRAF1/C5 , CTLA4, IL13 and KIAA0350 to the disease risk using candidate gene studies. By the use of genome-wide association studies, meta-analyses, immunochips and functional studies, we just recently identified HLA-DR as a key etiologic driver for AA as well as two loci outside the HLA-region: ACOXL/BCL2L11 and GARP. Future analyses and functional studies will contribute to a comprehensive understanding of AA.