Throughout this year, Alopecia UK has continued to grow its footprint in the world of research. We awarded a total of £84,653 to three excellent new projects, taking our total research spend to date to £218,423. The first two of these projects, 'Determining the key components of psychological support to facilitate adjustment in individuals with Alopecia Areata' and 'Global Registry of Alopecia areata disease Severity and treatment Safety (GRASS) UK', were selected by our Research Committee, made up of scientific experts and lay members. The final project 'Immunometabolism in Alopecia Areata' was chosen by you, our community, in the Patients' Choice Award, having received an overwhelming 90% of the votes.

Just last week, the role of Alopecia UK's community in the grant award process was featured in the Association of Medical Research Charities’ (AMRC) report on how different health charities are involving patients and the public in all stages of research. Earlier in the year, the AMRC also published a report on the role of funding provided by health charities in the medical research landscape, which highlights the vital impact we as charities have on this sector.  

This year, Alopecia UK also ran its first ever PhD bursary application round. We are delighted to say we will be announcing the successful recipient of this award in the new year, for the project to start in October 2023. In terms of existing projects, we received exciting updates from those we have already funded, which can be found on ‘Our Research Projects’ page.

We are grateful to all members of the alopecia community that have shared their experiences with researchers in surveys and interviews, and those who kindly donated their samples for use in laboratory-based studies. This vital research would not be possible without your continued support. We are also grateful to our Lay Research Panel for their insightful contributions during the planning stages of various project applications, making sure these projects address the right questions and do so in a way that’s mindful of the community’s wishes. Alopecia UK is committed to making sure the patient voice is heard by researchers, and in October members of Alopecia UK represented the patient voice at the first Barcelona Hair research conference, being the only patient group in attendance. Read more here.

Finally, we are proud to be a part of a number of excellent research partnerships. Not least Connect Immune Research (CIR), which aims to bring together researchers from across autoimmune conditions to find common answers. We are proud to be supporting CIR’s Lab Placement Scheme, which will allow early career researchers to learn new techniques and undertake innovative new projects.  

In all, Alopecia UK's dedicated community and alopecia researchers have made 2022 a great year for research. The prospect of new treatment options and more projects working to better understand the causes of alopecia and its psychological impact make us optimistic for what is to come in 2023.