Jacqueline A. French, MD  

Professional Leadership Award
Jacqueline A. French, MD
Professor of Neurology
Comprehensive Epilepsy Center
NYU Langone School of Medicine
Chief Medical/Innovation Officer, Epilepsy Foundation


Dr. Jacqueline French is a professor of Neurology in the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at NYU Langone School of Medicine and Founder/Director of the Epilepsy Study Consortium, an academic group that has performed a number of early phase clinical trails in epilepsy, and has developed new methodologies for epilepsy trials. Dr. French trained in Neurology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, and did her fellowship training in EEG and epilepsy at Mount Sinai hospital and Yale University.

Dr. French has focused her research efforts on development of new therapeutics for epilepsy, and new methodologies for clinical trials. Over the past 20 years she has served as the Principle investigator on a number of trials for new epilepsy drugs. She is responsible for creation of a number of new trial designs that have been accepted by regulatory authorities for new drug approval.

Active in creating guidelines for the American Academy of Neurology and the International League Against Epilepsy, Dr. French has chaired an AAN/AES committee that produced two widely quoted guidelines on the use of new antiepileptic drugs. She has served as chair of the International League Against Epilepsy North American Regional Commission and Commission on Therapeutic strategies.

Dr. French serves as the Chief Medical/Innovation Officer of the Epilepsy Foundation. She is the past president of the American Epilepsy Society. She is the past Secretary of the American Society of Experimental Neurotherapeutics. She is the recipient of the American Epilepsy Society Lennox Award (2017) and Service Award (2005), the Epilepsy Foundation Hero award (2013), and is an Ambassador for Epilepsy for the ILAE. She has authored over 300 articles and chapters, is the editor of three books, and lectures internationally on clinical trials and use of antiepileptic drugs.

As the keynote speaker at the Epilepsy Foundation of Long Island’s 2019 Regional Epilepsy Conference, Dr. French presented on cutting-edge therapies and recent advances in understanding the genetics of epilepsy. Her message for people with epilepsy was clear and filled with hope: don’t give up! There is much new in the pipeline—advances that can lead to a better quality of life for people with epilepsy.

For her lifetime of service on behalf of people with epilepsy, unsurpassed dedication to advancing new therapies and her unyielding commitment to improving treatment options for people with epilepsy, the Epilepsy Foundation of Long Island is privileged to present Dr. Jacqueline French with the 2020 Professional Leadership Award.