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Susan Axelrod

Founding Chair

Susan Axelrod is Founding Chair of CURE (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy). Susan's daughter, Lauren, was born in 1981 and at the age of seven months, was diagnosed with epilepsy. In 1998, Susan and a small group of mothers—frustrated by their inability to protect their children from the severe impact of uncontrollable seizures as well as the intolerable side effects of medication therapy—joined forces to spearhead the search for a cure for epilepsy.

CURE has catalyzed the epilepsy research community to accelerate research efforts, and has become the largest, nongovernmental funder of epilepsy research globally. Susan travels broadly to raise awareness and funds in support of the Organization's cutting-edge research programs.

Susan has served on the National Institute of Health's National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council and as a consumer reviewer for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program within the Department of Defense. In 2014, she was elected to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities where she advises 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.

After over twenty failed medications, surgeries, devices and special diets, Lauren's epilepsy is finally under control. However, the irrevocable effects of seizures on her brain development impair her ability to live an independent adult life, and she lives in an assisted residential and vocational setting in Chicago.

Susan received a Bachelors Degree in Humanities from Colorado College, a Masters in Business Administration/Health Service Administration from the University of Chicago Business School, and an Honorary Doctorate from Colorado College.


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