American Brain Foundation

First Public Member Elected Chair of American Brain Foundation

In a move that reflects its intent to broaden its appeal of support to the public, the American Brain Foundation has elected its first chair who is not a neurologist. 

The new chair, Kevin Goodno, is a Minneapolis lawyer, former commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, and former Minnesota state legislator. The father of a daughter with epilepsy, Goodno was completing his term as president of the Board of the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota when he was approached by long-time family friend John Hutchins, American Brain Foundation general counsel, about serving on the American Brain Foundation board. 

"The brain is truly the great unknown,” Goodno said. “We have within our reach the ability to identify the causes of brain diseases and their cures. It is an exciting time. We have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of millions of individuals—I am honored to be part of that opportunity.”

Past Chair John C. Mazziotta, MD, PhD, FAAN, said Goodno will help the foundation move toward its new goals. “With the impact of chronic neurologic disease reaching a crisis, the foundation board decided it could no longer afford to rely solely upon the generosity of the professional neurology community to sustain vital funding. Rather, it was decided that the foundation must shift its appeal to the broader public, seeking growth in funding to invest in innovative, higher-risk medical research to bring breakthroughs in curing a large constellation of related brain diseases closer to reality.”

Goodno said the foundation also aims to help the public make the connection between seemingly unconnected diseases and rally around the vision to “cure brain disease.”

“The American public understands ‘cancer’ as a singular medical challenge, while at the same time understanding that there are many different forms of cancer,” he said. “The American Brain Foundation needs to elevate public consciousness to see brain disease as a singular medical challenge that comes in many related forms, ranging from Alzheimer’s to autism, from Parkinson's to ALS and beyond."

The American Brain Foundation is committed to funding crucial research to discover causes, improved treatments, and cures for brain and other nervous system diseases. Learn more at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube.


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