Karin Wells-Kilpatrick co-founded the PCDH19 Alliance after her daughter, Kira, was diagnosed with PCDH19 Epilepsy at age 9 and she found other families with daughters diagnosed with the rare disorder. She currently serves as the Vice-President.
Karin is a senior staff engineer in lithography technology development at Intel Corporation, where she has worked for over 16 years, playing a key role in developing the next generation computer chips.
Karin holds a BS degree in engineering from Walla Walla College, and an MS degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. At Stanford, she completed her PhD Electrical Engineering coursework, experimental research, dissertation defense and several hundred pages of writing her dissertation on modal noise in multi-mode integrated optical clock distribution before her daughter’s seizures began at 8 months of age. She shelved the PhD in order to support her family financially and to care for her daughter’s involved medical needs.
With her science and engineering background, Karin is passionate about promoting and funding the fundamental and clinical research into PCDH19 and into PCDH19 epilepsy. She has educated herself in neuro-science, genetics, and epilepsy pharmacology, and is an active participant in her daughter’s medical care. She uses the knowledge she has gained to help other parents understand their genetic reports, to explain medical and science journal papers in lay terms, and to reach out to scientists working in PCDH19 research and related fields. Because it took 9 years to finally receive a diagnosis, Karin is also passionate about educating the clinical community on the existence of PCDH19 Epilepsy and the importance of genetic testing and answers to the families.
Thinking about getting involved? From fundraising to volunteering your skills, there are so ways you can make a difference and contribute towards finding a cure.