TITLE: Founding Chair
FOCUS AREAS: Epilepsy Research
PROFILE: Susan Axlerod is a Chicago mother who founded CURE. Axlerod’s foundation bio shares:
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 few other mothers---frustrated by their inability to protect their children from the severe impact of uncontrollable seizures on their children as well as the intolerable side effects of epilepsy medications--joined forces to spearhead the search for a cure for epilepsy.
CURE has catalyzed the epilepsy research community to accelerate their research efforts, and has become the largest private funder of epilepsy research globally. Susan travels broadly to raise awareness and funds to support 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 developing brain impair her ability to live an independent adult life, and she lives in a residential and vocational setting in Chicago.
Susan received a Bachelor’s 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.
You can learn more about Axlerod’s background and passion for the cause of epilepsy research in the following articles:
- Chicagoans of the Year 2010: Susan Axelrod, CURE
- I Must Save My Child
- Susan Axelrod Shares Her Hope for a Cure for Epilepsy
- On a Mission: Susan Axelrod, Supermom for a CURE