ORLANDO, Fla. ― Elson L. So, MD was presented with the 2023 Distinguished Service Award during the 2023 Annual Meeting of the American Epilepsy Society (AES). Established in 1993, the AES Distinguished Service award recognizes outstanding service by an individual in the field of epilepsy, including non-educational and non-scientific, with an emphasis on exemplary contributions to advancing AES' mission and service to its members.
Dr. So is professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, Rochester, Minn. Since joining AES in 1979, Dr. So has served on practice, education, and research committees. On behalf of AES, Dr. So has worked with partner volunteer and government organizations to initiate, develop and advance the sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) mission for our professional and patient communities, an initiative that has continued as a collaborative movement with more than 30 organizations. The SUDEP mission has also expanded to address the issue of increased mortality in persons with epilepsy, helping to develop the Partners Against Mortality in Epilepsy conferences.
He served as the AES president in 2014 and on the Professional Advisory Board of the Epilepsy Foundation and the Council of the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society. He is also past chair of the Section of Clinical Neurophysiology of the American Academy of Neurology.
Dr. So’s research interests are in SUDEP as well as the electroclinical aspects and treatment outcomes of drug-resistant epilepsies. He is co-editor of “MRI Negative Epilepsy: Evaluation and Surgical Management” and a named inventor of the Office of Intellectual Property of the Mayo Clinic for his role in the development of advanced Iictal Single Photon Emission Commuted Tomography (SPECT) technologies. He was awarded the Teacher of the Year of the Mayo Clinic Department of Neurology in 2019 and 2021.