Brett A. King, MD, PhD, is a nationally recognized dermatology expert in alopecia areata, a chronic skin condition that causes patchy or universal hair loss.
When people have this condition, the body’s immune system attacks some or all hair follicles. It can lead to the loss of hair on the head, eyebrows, eyelashes, beard and body. Dr. King understands the profound consequences this often has on peoples’ lives. “Alopecia areata causes so much anxiety, despair and pressure for patients and families—it’s devastating,” says Dr. King. Many aspects of a person’s life can be affected, he explains, such as relationships and careers. “It’s hard to interact with people when you don’t have eyelashes or eyebrows.”
Dr. King, who is the medical director of the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven, Conn., is also a researcher and an assistant professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. He performs clinical trials on the effectiveness of a class of drugs called Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitors for alopecia areata, as well as other related skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis and vitiligo. His research, which is published in leading medical journals, demonstrates how JAK inhibitors can effectively calm the immune system response in several skin disorders.