We were delighted to learn that Dr Matthew Harries has been awarded a grant of £81,000 from the British Skin Foundation (BSF). Dr Harries is a Consultant Dermatologist at Salford Royal Hospital and has focused on hair loss conditions during his medical career. Dr Harries is a member of Alopecia UK's Research Committee. 

The BSF grant, awarded through the University of Manchester to Dr Harries and his colleagues Dr Nekma Meah, Dr Yusur Al-Nuaimi, Dr Dmitri Wall and Mr Ian Evans, will be used to help create a database/registry of patients with alopecia areata (AA). This registry will help inform future research and compare how patients respond to different drug treatments. This is particularly relevant as new drugs are possibly introduced in the UK, helping to look at the safety of these drugs. 

Salford Royal Hospital will be one of three UK pilot sites for the registry, along with St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospital NHS Trust and Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. The registry is part of a global collaboration, Global Registry of Alopecia areata disease Severity and treatment Safety, or GRASS for short. 

Dr Harries explains:

“The current evidence-base for therapeutic decision making is poor. However, there is now growing interest from industry in AA treatment, predominantly through development of various Janus kinase inhibitors.

“Therefore, comparative analysis of these emerging, high-cost drugs with existing therapies is needed to capture real-world data to assess post-marketing safety and effectiveness.”

Alopecia UK's Research and Liaison Manager Julie Clayton says: 

"We are thrilled to see Dr Harries and his colleagues making progress in establishing this much needed UK-wide registry of patients with alopecia areata. This is vitally important for capturing how patients get on with different treatments, and it will help inform their future decisions about what treatment is best for them. This registry will be a great resource for future research and feels like another positive step forward for alopecia areata research."

We look forward to sharing further details about GRASS in the future and wish Dr Harries and his team all the best with getting started with this valuable research project.