Epilepsy Research Advocate Susan Axelrod to Receive Research!America Award

Gordon and Llura Gund Volunteer Leadership Award
Wednesday, March 21, 2007

WASHINGTON—March 21, 2007—Susan Axelrod, president and founding member of Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, was granted Research!America's 2007 Gordon and Llura Gund Volunteer Leadership Award. She received the award March 20, 2007, at the 11th Annual Research!America Advocacy Awards gala.

The gala took place at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC. George Stephanopoulos of ABC News served as master of ceremonies for the event.

The award recognizes Axelrod's substantial achievements as a volunteer leader in increasing awareness of-and research for-epilepsy. She and two other mothers, motivated by their children's struggles with epilepsy, launched CURE in 1998. Her efforts have helped CURE raise $5 million and award more than 50 grants for research. Axelrod was instrumental in organizing the CURE-National Institutes of Health conference "Curing Epilepsy-Focus on the Future," which drew international attention, and several workshops and other conferences to help advance epilepsy research.

"Susan's advocacy to advance research to find new preventions and treatments for epilepsy, which I believe will one day lead to a cure for this devastating disease, is making a crucial difference," said The Honorable John Edward Porter, Research!America chair and former U.S. Congressman from Illinois' 10th District. "We commend her dedication and commitment."

Named a Community Hero by the United Way and a Volunteer of the Year by the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago, Axelrod has been appointed to the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council, the major advisory panel of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at NIH. She holds an MBA/Health Service Administration degree from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

Award benefactors Llura and Gordon Gund have been innovative supporters of health research for more than 30 years. In March 2006, Gordon Gund received Research!America's Exceptional Contributions as a Volunteer Advocate for Medical and Health Research award for his role in advancing research for retinal degenerative diseases.

Recipients of Research!America's Advocacy Awards are individuals and organizations that have helped create policies that support research to improve health and bring America's scientists the resources they need, and helped millions of Americans understand the returns of medical and health research in new preventions, treatments and cures.

Previous recipients of this award include Gordon Gund, co-founder, The Foundation Fighting Blindness; Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder, The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation; and spina bifida advocates Al Hunt and Judy Woodruff of CNN.

The other 2007 Research!America Advocacy Award winners are Utah Senator Orrin G. Hatch; Mike Wallace, mental health research advocate and CBS News correspondent emeritus; David Satcher, MD, PhD, director, Center of Excellence on Health Disparities and Poussaint-Satcher-Cosby Chair in Mental Health at Morehouse School of Medicine and former Surgeon General of the U.S.; the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research; and Nobel Laureates Michael S. Brown, MD, and Joseph L. Goldstein, MD, regental professors, and Donald W. Seldin, MD, chair in internal medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

CURE is a volunteer-based, nonprofit organization founded by parents of children with epilepsy dedicated to finding a cure by raising funds for research and by increasing awareness of the prevalence and devastation of this disease.

About Research!America

Research!America is the nation's largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. The 2007 Advocacy Awards represent Research!America's 11th year of recognizing the accomplishments of leading advocates for medical and health research.

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If concerted, long-term investments in research are not made, America will lose an entire generation of young scientists.
Brenda Canine, PhD; McLaughlin Research Institute, Montana