CHICAGO - Elaine Wirrell, MD was awarded the J. Kiffin Penry Award for Excellence in Epilepsy Care at the 2021 Annual Meeting of the American Epilepsy Society (AES). The J. Kiffin Penry Award for Excellence in Epilepsy Care honors Dr. Penry’s lifelong focus on and genuine concern for the patient with epilepsy. It recognizes individuals whose work has had a major impact on patient care and has improved the quality of life for persons with epilepsy. The award is funded through the AES J. Kiffin Penry Fund.
Dr. Wirrell is Professor of Neurology and Program Director of Child Neurology at Mayo Clinic. She is passionate about improving the lives of children with epilepsy, appreciating the tremendous impact this condition has on the entire family, and the critical importance of addressing seizures and comorbidities.
She is a founding member of the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Consortium, which facilitates multicenter, collaborative research amongst U.S. pediatric epileptologists with a focus on optimizing therapies and outcomes for young children with DEEs. She has also collaborated with groups including the Dravet Syndrome Foundation, LGS Foundation, and DEE-P Connections in research and educational endeavors.
Dr. Wirrell has served with AES as chair of the Pediatric Content Committee. She is Co-Editor-in-Chief for Epilepsy.com, the public education website for the Epilepsy Foundation of America. Through the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) and the International Child Neurology Association (ICNA), she works to improve epilepsy care worldwide. She is the past Co-Chair of the ILAE Nosology and Definitions Task Force, Chair of the Research Committee of ICNA. Strongly committed to educating the next generation of child neurologists and pediatric epileptologists, Dr. Wirrell has been Co-Chair of the Pellock Epilepsy Symposium for the past 6 years. She was awarded the Mayo Clinic Distinguished Clinician award in 2016.