• Press Release

Transformative $5 Million Gift Launches the Alopecia Areata Center of Excellence at Mount Sinai

  • New York, NY
  • (March 21, 2022)

{Watch this video to learn more about the new Center; click HERE.}

In an unparalleled effort to deliver outstanding comprehensive care and to employ revolutionary approaches to novel therapeutics around the skin condition alopecia areata, the Mount Sinai Health System has launched the Alopecia Areata Center of Excellence. Under the leadership of Director Emma Guttman-Yassky, MD, PhD, the new Center will be fully integrated within the state-of-the art Laboratory for Inflammatory Skin Diseases, and will fall under the umbrella of the Kimberly and Eric J. Waldman Department of Dermatology at Mount Sinai.

The creation of this new Alopecia Areata Center of Excellence was made possible by a generous $5 million gift from the Pure Family. More than 7 million people in the United States have alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes hair to fall out from the scalp, face, and other parts of the body. There is no cure or effective treatment for this condition, which can affect people of any age, sex, race, or ethnicity. Mount Sinai is a world leader in treatment and research of inflammatory skin diseases, including alopecia areata. Thanks to the Pure Family, this newly established Center—the first of its kind—will allow Mount Sinai to deepen and capitalize on its expertise in translational research to provide comprehensive treatment and coordinated services for patients with alopecia areata.

"I am honored by the Pure Family’s tremendous support for this new Center, which will help immensely to position Mount Sinai Dermatology as a true leader in alopecia areata,” said Dr. Guttman-Yassky, who is the Waldman Professor and Chair of the Kimberly and Eric J. Waldman Department of Dermatology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “We are now uniquely positioned to make an extraordinary difference in the lives of millions of adults and children who have this terrible, life-altering condition.”

Approximately 2 in 100 people will be diagnosed with alopecia areata within their lifetime. In addition to the physical toll this condition takes, it can also cause patients and their families emotional and psychological distress. “It can be particularly devastating for children, who can grow up feeling misunderstood, alone, and isolated in school and from friends,” explains Dr. Guttman-Yassky.

The Food and Drug Administration has not approved any drugs for alopecia areata in either adults or children. Additionally, there is no single option that works for everyone—leading to a desperate need for development of a wide range of novel therapies. Under this new Center, Dr. Guttman-Yassky is determined to expand and pursue further research in alopecia areata in order to identify new drug targets and repurpose existing treatments used for other inflammatory skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis (eczema).  She will accelerate discoveries for alopecia areata in the same way as she has for atopic dermatitis.

“Dr. Guttman-Yassky is a trailblazer in dermatology,” said Jonathan Pure. “Anyone suffering from alopecia areata will now be able to go to this ground-breaking Center to receive the best possible treatments and care.”

In addition to Dr. Guttman-Yassky, the Center's leadership team will consist of top experts including dermatologists, dermato-pathologists, fellows, nurses, and other clinicians specializing in the fields of dermatology and dermato-pathology. The Center will offer patients specialized care in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of alopecia areata and other forms of hair loss.

“Dr. Guttman’s ability to contribute to the better understanding of diseases and to identify new molecular targets together with this new Center of Excellence will help us chart a new course that will lead to more effective treatments for adults and children suffering from alopecia areata and other hair loss disorders,” said Dennis S. Charney, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of Icahn Mount Sinai and President for Academic Affairs of the Mount Sinai Health System. “We are extremely grateful to the Pure Family for their support, and we are excited to see how this new Center will further position the Department of Dermatology as a world leader in research around inflammatory skin diseases.”

About the Mount Sinai Health System

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with 48,000 employees working across eight hospitals, more than 400 outpatient practices, more than 600 research and clinical labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time—discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 9,000 primary and specialty care physicians and 11 free-standing joint-venture centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida. Hospitals within the System are consistently ranked by Newsweek’s® “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals, Best in State Hospitals, World Best Hospitals and Best Specialty Hospitals” and by U.S. News & World Report's® “Best Hospitals” and “Best Children’s Hospitals.” The Mount Sinai Hospital is on the U.S. News & World Report® “Best Hospitals” Honor Roll for 2023-2024.

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