My name is Devyn Napier and I am a senior in high school. I am extremely interested in the medical field and I attend an all academy school in Concord, Ca. I am in the Medical and Biotechnology Academy and I absolutely love it. I get to wear scrubs to school (so comfortable!) and I was awarded the opportunity to work in the emergency room of John Muir.

In my biological science research class this year, our project is to develop our own science fair experiment. I will then present my research and findings to a panel of judges at the cccsef for the opportunity to win scholarship money for college.

I was diagnosed with alopecia areata when I was three years old and have had it ever since (I am seventeen now), I figured there is nothing in the entire world I would rather experiment with than alopecia.

My plan is to prevent two proteins found in individuals who have alopecia. One (ULBP3) is located on a hair follicle and works as a signal. Now this signal does not normally go off, but, in people with alopecia it does. By doing so, it attracts an immune cell accompanied by the NKG2D protein. What happens here is what we are all familiar with as the autoimmune response.

I was planning on creating a solution to prevent them from binding in the first place. I want to alter their environment and pH and hopefully by doing so, I can prevent them from binding.

I am reaching out because I am in need of advice, opinions, concerns...

I have also reached out to a few dermatologists and was curious if anyone knew any experts on alopecia I could contact?

Any thoughts?


Views: 1202

Comment by readwrite62 on December 8, 2013 at 10:23pm
Comment by Nanny on December 8, 2013 at 10:25pm

Sweetheart, I don't have a clue but God bless you for your efforts and I pray God will give you the knowledge you need or put you in contact with someone who can help you complete your research and come up with a solution. My little granddaughter, now 10 years old has been completely bald and minus eyelashes and eyebrows since the second week of June and it doesn't appear to have any inclination to grow back. She's got a great attitude that comes along with her name, Faith, but I know in her heart she would love her hair to grow back permanently. My prayers are with you. Thank you! Faith's Nanny

Comment by Suzanne Kennedy on December 8, 2013 at 10:35pm

Hey...that's so great!  Good luck to you!

Comment by AC from CA, USA on December 8, 2013 at 10:36pm
Hi Devyn. There is an alopecia specialist near you who is currently doing research and has been doing so for awhile. Her research has been published and I think she would be a good resource. Her name is Paradi Mirmirani. Google her and you will see her credentials. Here's her contact info for the current study: http://www.permanente.net/homepage/kaiser/pages/c12551-48357.html


Comment by losing_it on December 8, 2013 at 10:39pm
Hi Devyn

I am a High School Chem Teacher and think this is a fantastic idea. It's great to know that there are progressive, forward thinking, positive young people with alopecia out there who are taking the bull by the horns and using their training to figure on how we can solve this problem of hair loss.

In terms of a Science Fair, how are you going to demonstrate inhibiting this protein's receptor? It sounds like something that practically would be quite difficult to successfully prove you have done? Or are you making it more theory based? In which case animations would be good I guess?

I think this sounds fascinating and I would love to hear how you get on with it....

Good luck!

Comment by Jessie on December 8, 2013 at 11:02pm

Hi Devyn, Good Luck and  hopefully we will all be ready your discovery on this blog. There is a leading dermatologist in San Francisco that I saw about 12 years ago. I am so

rry I don't know her name anymore but am sure you could google her easy enough.

again good luck

Comment by Nanny on December 8, 2013 at 11:21pm

You know, Faith and I are doing the usual things we do with the exotic oils and biotin, etc. but since it hasn't started growing back this time, I talked to her about whether she wanted to go back to the dermatologists for injections or to see if maybe he knew anything new. I feel like she's coping so well that she should have complete control over the situation. After all, she could be living with it the rest of her life. It should be her decision. Well, she knows that first and above all, we pray about it. She said "No, Nanny, I'm just going to let Jesus keep doing His thing!" I think my granddaughter is the most remarkable person I know. Devyn, I pray you will be successful, because what you all need who suffer with this disease or disorder, is a permanent solution. Again, God bless you and DO keep us posted. Thank you!

Comment by Dielle on December 8, 2013 at 11:42pm

Dr. Jerry Shapiro is one of the leading dermatologists and focuses exclusively on alopecia. He could be a great resource, he is based in New York.

Comment by TallGuy on December 8, 2013 at 11:54pm
It's been a very long time, but have you reached to Dr. Vera Price in San Francisco?

She was my doctor as a kid...I think the world of her, she is very well known in Alopecia circles :)
Comment by Liz on December 9, 2013 at 3:00am

Hi Devyn, 

Check out these links to information on Gluten. I’ve read a few posts on this site from alopecians who say they have grown hair back by eliminating gluten from their diet. I recently went on a gluten free diet and have grown 10 hairs!
3 years ago, I lost all of my hair so for me, it’s hopeful that my hair follicles are waking up. I don’t know if it’s from a gluten free diet or that I’ve added nutritious food to my diet or both but I've added Quinoa and Chia seeds, mushrooms and am eating more vegetables and fruit. I feel so much better and I’m going continue this diet for life. It makes great sense to me.

Here’s a couple of links and info on how I’ve become convinced of the effects of gluten.

Dr. Glidden - Against the Grain, Why Gluten is Bad


Chris Kresser http://chriskresser.com/the-gluten-thyroid-connection

I recently watched these 3 shows on PBS on Nutrition and believe it to be life changing!

David Perlmutter, MD - Brain Change  (Effects of Wheat, Sugar & Carbohydrates on the Brain)

Deepak Chopra  - What Are You Hungry For?

Dr. Joel Fuhrman - 3 Steps to Incredible Health

Another bit of info I heard that's stayed with me is an acronym called GOMBS (like comb with a g) to eat everyday to prevent cancer and for overall good health.

It stands for:






I hope you find this information helpful. Good luck with your research!


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