October 6, 2022

Dr. Brett King, associate professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine, has been named an American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) “Patient Care Hero” for his pioneering work treating conditions such as severe alopecia.

AAD cited King’s innovative use of Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors to block the cell communication that causes a variety of skin diseases such as alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own hair follicles, causing hair loss.

Although alopecia can happen at any age, the disease often begins during a patient’s childhood or teenage years.

In March, King and his collaborators announced successful results of Phase 3 clinical trials using using baricitinib, a JAK inhibitor, to treat alopecia areata.

Over the past decade, King has developed ways to treat a variety of intractable skin diseases, including eczema, vitiligo, granuloma annulare, sarcoidosis, and erosive lichen planus, as well as alopecia areata, with JAK inhibitors — drugs that ease joint pain and swelling.

Dr. King’s approach to using innovative JAK therapies showcases how dermatologists advance new treatments and transform lives,” said AAD president Dr. Ken Tomecki. “Effective care is critical to a patient’s quality of life.”

King said, “Understanding patients’ conditions and how to make them better is a never-ending exploration, and it’s critically important because we can alleviate immense suffering and restore normalcy.”