CURE, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, was founded by parents of children with epilepsy who were frustrated with their inability to protect their children from the devastation of seizures and the side effects of medications. Unwilling to sit back and accept the debilitating effects of epilepsy, these parents joined forces to spearhead the search for a cure.
CURE’s mission is not only driven by the pressing need for scientific research and data, but by the painful struggle of families who suffer from epilepsy worldwide.
Since its inception in 1998, CURE has raised more than $26 million to fund research and other initiatives that will lead the way to a cure for the epilepsies. CURE funds seed grants to young and established investigators to explore new areas and collect the data necessary to apply for further funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). To date, CURE has awarded 151 cutting-edge projects.
CURE boasts a Scientific Advisory Board comprised of five esteemed epilepsy specialists. In addition, over 300 scientists lend their epilepsy expertise to review grant applications.
CURE co-sponsored the National Institutes of Health Conference in 2000—the first of its kind to focus on a cure for epilepsy—and, since then, has lent further support to other relevant workshops and conferences. In addition, CURE was one of the key sponsors involved in shaping the direction and outcome of a newly commissioned Institute of Medicine report released in March 2012, "The Public Health Dimensions of the Epilepsies." CURE was also instrumental in the creation of the NIH Epilepsy Research Benchmarks which were created to help guide the research community toward a cure.
CURE has also helped establish epilepsy as a disease that now receives crucial research funding through the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Peer Review Medical Research Program.
CURE works to increase awareness through national and international media exposure. Chair and co-founder Susan Axelrod, along with other board members and CURE supporters, have been featured in publications such as PARADE, Newsweek, the Boston Globe and the New York Times. Susan has also appeared on the TODAY show, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, in a special segment on "60 Minutes" with Katie Couric, Fox News Network, CNN with Campbell Brown, and CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight.
Susan has been recognized internationally for her advocacy. Honors have included awards from Washington, DC-based Research!America, the Child Neurology Foundation, and the American Epilepsy Society. Most recently, she was named "Chicagoan of the Year" by Chicago Magazine and recognized as an Ambassador for Epilepsy by the International League against Epilepsy and the International Bureau for Epilepsy.