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Susan Axelrod

Founding Chair

Susan Axelrod is Founding Chair of Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE).

In 1998, Susan and a small group of parents — frustrated by their inability to protect their children from the severe impact of uncontrollable seizures — joined forces to spearhead the search for a cure for epilepsy.  Since then, CURE has raised over $50 million to fund more than 220 research grants around the world.

Susan was instrumental in changing the focus of epilepsy research from “managing” epilepsy symptoms to seeking a cure.  In fact, she was key to encouraging the National Institutes of Health to hold its first conference on curing epilepsy.  Through her advocacy, Susan catalyzed the medical science community to accelerate epilepsy research efforts.

Susan has served on the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council as well as the Epilepsy Research Programmatic Panel for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program.

In 2014, she was elected to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities where she advised the President of the United States and Secretary of Health and Human Services on a broad range of topics that impact people with intellectual disabilities.

Susan has also served as a reviewer for the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and as an advisor to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Coordinating Center on Epilepsy.

For her unrelenting efforts to find a cure for epilepsy, Susan has been recognized by awards and honors from: American Epilepsy Society, International League Against Epilepsy, Child Neurology Foundation, Dravet Syndrome Foundation, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and United Way.

Susan’s advocacy and tireless commitment to the epilepsy community have been the subject of features on 60 Minutes, The Today Show, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, Newsweek, and Parade Magazine.

Susan received a Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities from Colorado College, a Master’s in Business Administration/Health Service Administration from the University of Chicago Business School, and Honorary Doctorates from Colorado College and New England College of Law.


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