Cara O’Neill, MD, FAAP

Chief Science Officer, Cure Sanfilippo Foundation

Page last updated:  May 20, 2022
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Cara O’Neill’s Educational and Professional History

Cara 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. These uniquely-paired career and life experiences allow her to bridge gaps between scientists, clinicians, industry, and families, helping foster patient-centered research and translational paths forward for rare disease treatments.

She and her husband Glenn founded Cure Sanfilippo Foundation after receiving her daughter Eliza’s diagnosis in 2013. Since then, they have spread awareness around the globe about Sanfilippo syndrome via talk shows, news media, online platforms, and international newspapers. As Chief Science Officer, Dr. O’Neill leads the Foundation’s patient-focused research efforts 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 was awarded the international 2020 Patient Advocacy Leader Award by WORLDSymposium for her exceptional thought leadership and contributions. For their work rare disease, Glenn and Cara were awarded the Portraits of Courage Honor by NORD in 2015, as well as being a Tribute to Champions of Hope finalist for Global Genes. In 2017, they received the South Carolina Child Advocate Award from the SC American Academy of Pediatrics.

Cara O’Neill’s Scientific Publications

Contact Cara O’Neill

By mail: PO Box 6901, Columbia, SC 29260

By e-mail:

Cara O'Neill with daughter Eliza