The Research Project serves as the principal research directive of the AACORT. The overall goal of the AACORT is the comprehensive study of the pathology of Alopecia Areata, which the Research Project formalizes into four key goals: 1) the study of the microbiome, 2) proteomic research into AA autoantigens, 3) mouse model studies of AA pathology and drug discovery, 4) and studies of human AA patients for molecular pathology and drug response. These four goals will result in the full characterization of the microbiome, genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic loads that contribute to AA pathology. This, in turn, will provide the foundation for the development of biomarkers to track AA progression and response to treatment (both genomic and molecular), and the identification of drug targets and drug candidates. To drive the pursuit of these objectives, the Research Project will serve as a key mediator between the TRAC Core, which will be responsible for designing and acquiring human patient biosamples for analysis, and the DATA Core, which will oversee the annotation, storage, and analysis of all data generated by the TRAC. It will be one of the Research Project?s roles to identify targetable biological objectives to these two cores, which will then acquire the data and analyze it for the key molecular drivers that the Research Project can then validate as a complement to their ongoing research. Experiments pursued by the Research Project, in human or mouse models, will be continuously cross-checked with the bioinformatic analyses of human cohorts to develop an unprecedented systemic model of AA pathology. In this manner, all ongoing research in the AACORT will be mediated by the central biological questions posed by the Research Project, thereby providing uniform objectives for which the AACORT can leverage its multiple analytic pipelines.
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