We fund groundbreaking research into Alopecia Areata treatments and support. 

AAAF is dedicated to supporting research into Alopecia Areata. We have provided a range of grants and supported studies into both the medical and psychological impact of this condition. 

Partnering with AAAF for Research

AAAF is looking for research projects commencing in 2021. If you are a researcher involved in a project relating to Alopecia Areata, please submit an Expression of Interest to AAAF by 30/09/2020. 

Prof. Rodney Sinclair, Professor of Dermatology at the University of Melbourne and Director of Sinclair Dermatology

Jason Wong, academic and researcher at RMIT University

Current Trials and Research

Clinical trials for new Alopecia Areata treatment options are currently running in Australia. AAAF will share updates as they become available. Be sure to register to sign up for newsletter updates.


Alopecia Areata clinical trial for adolescent age 6-18, evaluating the safety and efficacy of Baricitinib. 

A Study of Baricitinib (LY3009104) in Children From 6 Years to Less Than 18 Years of Age With Alopecia Areata (BRAVE-AA-PEDS)

More information about the study:

Sites running the trial are:

Skin and Cancer Foundation Australia – Darlinghurst Clinic

Contact:  8651 2027    Principal Investigator: Johanna Kuchel

Royal North Shore Hospital St Leonards,

Contact: 0299660625

Principal Investigator: Rebecca Saunderson


Veracity Clinical Research, Woolloongabba,  QLD

Contact: 07 30391346

Principal Investigator:  Lynda Spelman

Sinclair Dermatology ,Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 3002

Contact:0 3 9013 0099

Principal Investigator:  Samantha Eisman

Institute for Skin, Health, and Immunity  Mitcham, Victoria, Australia, 3132

Contact: 0412476267   Principal Investigator:  John Su

SECURE-Alopecia – Database for confirmed COVID-19 cases with a form of Alopecia.

A global network of alopecia specialists has coordinated to create a patient registry, called SECURE-Alopecia. This database seeks to collect information about whether some common treatments for alopecia improve outcomes for people who contract COVID-19.
The registry is anonymous and does not collect identifiable information. This data will help support researchers and doctors fighting COVID-19. AAAF are proud to be one of the many organisations partnering to support this important piece of research.
If you have alopecia and experienced a confirmed case of COVID-19, please reach out to your doctor to participate after your COVID-19 has passed. It only takes your doctor five minutes to register and complete the form.

Current study seeking adult participants for clinical trial in South Australia who have had hair loss to Alopecia Areata for more than 6 months. 


Medical Research


The social, psychological, and economic burden of alopecia areata on adolescents and adults over the age of twelve-survey and questionnaire

The study is investigating the socio-economic burden of Alopecia Areata (AA) on adolescents, adults, and their caregivers/partners. This analysis will be used to generate Quality-Adjusted Life Years, a quantitative measure for how patient’s lives are impacted, which may facilitate assessments for the TGA and potential reimbursement through the PBS by detailing cost-effectiveness of AA treatment. Information about caregiver/partner impact can be used as evidence that the burden of AA extends to the caregiver/partner.

Sinclair Dermatology are looking to recruit both adolescents aged 13-17 and adults 18+. Participants will be asked to fill out an expression of interest form online to register your interest. If eligible, you will be asked to complete a series of questionnaires/surveys. Participants will be reimbursed $30. Those that complete the questionnaires will be invited to take part in a structured 30-45 min long interview conducted by a medical doctor. The interview covers loss of time from employment/education and cost of treatment/concealment. Participants will be reimbursed $50 for taking part in the interview. Caregivers/partners will also be invited to partake in one questionnaire and the interview, although this is not mandatory for participation in the study.

QALYs and the financial loss-of-earnings information acquired in the interview allows the study, and hopefully the government, to compare the value of paying for AA treatment to the value of paying for other treatments. By comparing the QALY of different conditions, it outlines the ‘reward’ of resource allocation to AA explicitly. We all know AA has an impact on quality of life, but the financial impact is less well substantiated.

Inclusion/exclusion criteria for this study is less strict than for other studies. Participants must have AA/AT/AU, be over the age of 13, be an Australian resident, and have been diagnosed at least 6 months ago. Participants will not be eligible if they have other types of alopecia (pattern hair loss, FFA, etc) or have a comorbid psychiatric disorder that they do not think is related to their AA. If the participant believes that their psychiatric disorder is due to or related to alopecia, they are still eligible for the study.

If you want any further information about the study or your involvement in the study, you can contact Dr Huw Rees on (03) 9013 0099 or l 


Currently seeking adult participants for clinical trial in subjects with moderate to severe alopecia areata

A clinical trial evaluating a new multicytokine inhibitor medication for the potential new treatment of alopecia areata is currently being conducted at multiple sites across Australia.  

Adults aged 18-60 years with a diagnosis of alopecia areata are invited to participate.  Participants are required to have had moderate to severe scalp alopecia areata for at least 6 months.

The study duration is 33 weeks.  If eligible, you will be required to attend for weekly treatments for 24 weeks, and will be required to attend 27 visits to the study site.

Study medication and study-related assessments are provided at no cost.  Reimbursement for study-related expenses, such as travel, will be provided.

For more detailed information about this clinical trial, please visit (Link:

VIC – Sinclair Dermatology NSW – Premier Specialists; QLD – Veracity Clinical Research Dr Lynda Spelman
Evelyn Loh 03 9013 0099  Dr Corey Stone 0416 502 017 07 3039 1311


AAAF Members to Participate in Research Study Focus Group – Sinclair Dermatology

The focus groups will be 5-8 people and will be facilitated by a doctor. They will be held here in East Melbourne at Sinclair Dermatology. Sessions will last for approximately one hour, and participants will be reimbursed $100 for their time.  If you are interested please contact Madeline at 03 9013 0099


Qualitative Research with Patients & HCPs survey done in conjunction with Pfizer.


Clinical trial: Sublingual tofacitinib for alopecia areata: a roll-over pilot clinical trial and analysis of pharmacokinetics.

This clinical trial explores the efficacy and pharmacokinetics of sublingual tofacitinib in moderate-to-severe Alopecia Areata.


Utility of azathioprine methotrexate and cyclosporine as steroid sparing agents in chronic alopecia areata: A retrospective study of continuation rates in 138 patients

This study explores some of the systemic therapy options for treating chronic Alopecia Areata.

Clinical Trial 

Based in Melbourne, Victoria this trial focused on participants aged 18-65 with a form of Alopecia Areata with hair loss over 50% or more of the scalp. Participants must have had experienced hair loss for at least 6 months but not longer than 8 years. Study involved 8 visits over 32 weeks. Participants were provided care throughout the study period at no cost, and study related expenses like travel may eligible for reimbursement. 


Road Map for diagnosis -Treatment of alopecia areata: An Australian expert consensus statement

The purpose of this consensus statement is to outline a treatment algorithm for AA, including the indications for systemic treatment, appropriate choice of systemic treatment, satisfactory outcome measures and when to discontinue successful or unsuccessful treatment.


The Cost to Government and Disutility of Alopecia Areata and an Investigator-Initiated, Placebo-controlled, Clinical Trial Investigating the Efficacy of Two Treatments for Alopecia Areata. 

This study aimed to quantify the effectiveness of treatments for alopecia areata. We aim to use this data to support future applications for government contribution to treatments for Alopecia Areata, including listings on the PBS.


Systematic Review of the efficacy, safety and management considerations for tofacitinib – JAK Inhibitor use in Dermatology. 
Tofacitinib is one of the Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitor drugs currently in trial as a treatment for Alopecia Areata. This study reviewed numerous papers about tofacitinib use to treat a range of dermatological conditions – Alopecia Areata, Atopic Dermatitis, Psorasis and Vitilago.

 Findings of most interest to individuals with Alopecia Areata include “Evidence for tofacitinibs’ efficacy in AA is stronger than for currently used systemics, which have not been subject to prospective trials. … Development of more “selective” JAK1/3 inhibitors, with theoretically less risk of hematopoietic toxicity, is presently being favored in clinical trials.” 

This poster was presented at the Australasian College of Dermatologists 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting. 


AAAF along with Sinclair Dermatology ran a 28 week study (starting in June 2015) on the treatment of Alopecia Areata with topical Janus kinase (JAK) Inhibitors.
Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitors inhibit the activity of the JAK enzyme. The JAK enzymes are involved in signal transduction which plays a role in cytokine signalling. Cytokine signalling controls the growth of cells and the immune response. It is this immune response which causes alopecia areata. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the efficacy of topical JAK inhibitors ruxolitinib ointment, tofacitinib ointment, versus clobetasol diproprionate ointment and placebo.


Four years ago, a team led by Professor Angela Christiano from the Columbia University Medical Centre discovered the genetic basis of alopecia areata, the most common auto-immune disease in humans. In this latest research, published in the scientific journal Nature Medicine, the same group had discovered the specific white blood cell, a type of t-cell, responsible for causing hair loss.

AAAF Funds Alopecia Areata research at Epworth Dermatology / University of Melbourne
AAAF has been successful in  securing the services of Jane Li a PhD student at the University of Melbourne, studying the subtypes of immune cells (known as T cells) in Alopecia Areata. T cells are a type of white blood cell involved in various immune responses in the body.  Much evidence exists to show AA is
a T cell mediated disorder.  Memory T cells are a subset of T cells that persist in the body and provide an immunological ‘memory’.  A new type of memory T cell known as resident memory T cells (TRM cells) has recently been described which reside in the skin and play an important part in skin immune function.

The overall objective of the research project is to determine the effects of corticosteroids on immune cells, known as T-cells, in the skin of alopecia areata patients.
Corticosteroids are the most common treatment for alopecia areata, but often cause debilitating side effects and has a 20% failure rate and significant side effects.  Understanding why the significant failure rate and relapse pattern are the main drivers for this research.


Psychological Research


Currently underway study involving 48 participants between 18-65, Australia-wide, with any form of Alopecia Areata. This study investigates the impact of acceptance and physical activity (exercise) in mental wellbeing for people with AA. Study participants receive a FitBit, which they may keep if they complete the study. This study is for those who seek positive lifestyle changes in their life, which requires a 6 week period of commitment. Options for the study have been adjusted to accommodate current lockdown due to COVID-19.
To find out more, please read the Participant Information Sheet. 


AAAF’s project with RMIT University exploring the relationship between physical activity and mental health amoung people with Alopecia Areata was published in BMC Psychology. 


Expanding on our project with RMIT University studying the impact of physical activity on mental health and quality of life for people with Alopecia Areata, AAAF engaged further research to analyze physical and emotional barriers to physical activity experienced by people with Alopecia Areata, with a look toward identifying solutions to these barriers.


AAAF engaged with RMIT University for study into the impact of physical activity on mental health and quality of life for people with Alopecia Areata. Ongoing study opportunities look toward analyzing physical and emotional barriers to physical activity experienced by people with Alopecia Areata, with a look toward identifying solutions to these barriers.

The current study is called “Associations between physical activity, quality of life (QoL) and mental health in patients with Alopecia Areata: The Physical Activity, quality of Life and Mental health (PALM) study.” by Jason Wong.


AAAF engaged the University of Victoria for study entitled: “Psychosocial Impact of living with a family member with Alopecia Areata” by Jennifer Davies


AAAF engaged the University of Victoria for two major pieces of psychological research.

1) The study is entitled “Alopecia and Acceptance: The Influence of Length in Time Since Diagnosis in Coping with Hair Loss Disorders.” by Ryan Veal

2) The study is entitled “Investigation the impact of Alopecia Areata on women’s self-esteem, mood states and coping”. by Jessica Martino


AAAF engaged the University of Victoria to do an exploratory study into  Coping and the Psychosocial Impact of Alopecia Areata in Young Australians: An Exploratory Study by Louise Borg.