Cara O’Neill, MD to receive the WORLDSymposium 2020 Patient Advocate Leader (PAL) Award

Cara O’Neill, MD - Patient Advocate Leader Award Recipient 2020Cara O’Neill, MD, is the Chief Science Officer at Cure Sanfilippo Foundation, a pediatrician, and mother to a daughter with the rare disease Sanfilippo syndrome (MPS III). Dr. O’Neill completed her medical education at West Virginia University School of Medicine and subsequently her Pediatric Residency training at the University of South Carolina. She has worked both in private practice and academic settings. During her tenure as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of South Carolina, she helped train medical students and residents, and practiced in a clinic specific to children with special healthcare needs. Dr. O’Neill’s uniquely-paired career and life experiences allow her to bridge gaps between scientists, clinicians, industry, and families, helping foster patient-centered research and future translational paths for rare disease treatments.

Dr. ONeill and her husband founded Cure Sanfilippo Foundation after receiving her daughter’s diagnosis in 2013, guided by the mission to support the creation of treatments and an eventual cure for the disease. Since then, they have spread awareness around the globe about Sanfilippo syndrome via talk shows, news media, online platforms, and international newspapers. Dr. O’Neill leads patient-focused research efforts within the foundation and has presented at international conferences and authored peer-reviewed journal articles. In addition, she collaborates with other non-profit groups on mutual advocacy and research interests, as well as oversees the foundation’s funding of external scientific programs.

Dr. O’Neill lives in Columbia, SC, with her husband Glenn, son Beckham, and daughter Eliza.

On Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 7:30 AM. Cara will be presented with the WORLDSymposium 2020 Patient Advocate Leader Award.

About the WORLDSymposium Patient Advocate Leader (PAL) Award

Each year, WORLDSymposium recognizes one individual for patient advocacy leadership in the field of lysosomal disease. The Patient Advocate Leader (PAL) award will be presented at WORLDSymposium 2020 on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 7:30AM.

WORLDSymposium’s Patient Advocate Leader (PAL) Award program began in 2016 in order to recognize individuals contributing directly to lives of patients and families dealing with a lysosomal disease through disease awareness and education, community mobilization, non-profit development and/or good governance activities, patient care, and support programs. The recipient is presented with an engraved award and is recognized at the WORLDSymposium scientific meeting held annually in February each year. An announcement of the award recipient is included in the February special lysosomes issue of Molecular Genetics and Metabolism. (This award is given on a yearly basis, but can be omitted in any given year at the discretion of the Planning Committee.) Nominations are solicited annually from members of the lysosomal disease community, planning committee members and attendees of WORLDSymposium.

Past Award Recipient:

2016 Barbara Wedehase
2017 Christine Lavery
2018 Jack Johnson
2019 Mark Dant