Freeman and Kelly awards – history and winners

Chair – Eric Kossoff MD

Committee: Jong Rho MD, Carl Stafstrom MD, Philip Holt MD, Liu Lin Thio MD, PhD, Heidi Pfeifer RD, Kevin Rathke RD, Natasha Schoeler RD.

Presented at the Biennial Global Ketogenic Therapies Symposia

The current popularity of the ketogenic diet – now a standard and scientifically validated treatment for medically intractable epilepsy – would not have been possible without the passionate and enduring efforts of two giants in the field of ketogenic therapies – Dr. John Freeman, former Director of the Pediatric Epilepsy Program at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and his stalwart and fiercely devoted dietitian, Millicent Kelly. Their persistent efforts to offer the ketogenic diet to multitudes of patients over the years, and their unflagging belief and conviction in the often-ridiculed dietary treatments for pharmaco-resistant epilepsy, set the stage for the current expansive generation of healthcare professionals, researchers and advocates throughout the world. Indeed, there exists much excitement and promise for expanding and refining dietary and metabolism-based therapies for epilepsy and other neurological disorders as we move into the second century of growth. It will be said by historians that the saga of the ketogenic diet has been unlike anything in the history of clinical medicine. In honor of their seminal contributions to the field of ketogenic therapies, INKS has maintained awards named after Dr. Freeman and Ms. Kelly which are bestowed on remarkable professionals at each biennial Global Symposia on Ketogenic Therapies for Neurological Disorders. These awards are intended to honor physicians and dietitians, respectively, who are recognized for impactful contributions to the field of ketogenic therapies, but most importantly, those who have carried the torch with the same spirit and dedication as Dr. Freeman and Ms. Kelly.

Beth Zupec-Kania RD, recipient of the Millicent Kelly RD award, San Diego 2024.

Dr Janak Nathan, recipient of the John Freeman award, San Diego 2024

Prior Winners


Elizabeth Thiele, MD, PhD


Eric H. Kossoff MD

Heidi Pfeifer RDN


Jong M. Rho MD

Eunjoo Lee RD


J. Helen Cross MD, PhD

Dr Elles van der Louw RD


Janak Nathan MD

Beth Zupec-Kania RDN

Founding Patrons

Founding Corporate Sponsor