E. Wesley Ely, MD, MPH

Professor of Medicine
Associate Director of Aging Research
Department of Medicine
Veterans’ Affairs Geriatric Research Education Clinical Center (GRECC)
Tennessee Valley Healthcare System

Dr. E. Wesley Ely, MD, MPH is a sub-specialist in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine with a focus in Geriatrics, who conducts patient-oriented, health services research as a Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude from Tulane University and earned his medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine and master’s in public health degree from the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana. There he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) medical honors society. Dr. Ely’s research has focused on improving the care and outcomes of critically ill patients with severe sepsis and respiratory failure, with special emphasis on the problems facing older patients in the ICU (e.g., weaning from mechanical ventilation, delirium in the ICU, neuropsychological and functional deficits post ICU care). He was elected to membership in the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and serves as the Associate Director of Aging Research for the VA Tennessee Valley Geriatric Research and Education Clinical Center (GRECC). As the founder of the Vanderbilt ICU Delirium and Cognitive Impairment Study Group, he currently serves as the principal investigator for the Coordinating Center’s ongoing clinical trials in sedation and delirium and post-ICU cognitive impairment. Dr. Ely designs and leads a team of investigators in conducting both large cohort studies and randomized controlled clinical trials seeking both better understanding and management of critically ill patients in the ICU. Among other studies, Dr. Ely is currently the principal investigator of two large NIH-sponsored and VA-sponsored cohort investigations in ICU patients, with a focus on delirium and sedative/analgesic drug exposure and acquired cognitive and functional impairment in survivors of the critical illness. Dr Ely has written or co-authored more than 200 articles, book chapters and editorials. For more details of his work, please contact Angie Williams (angie.williams@vanderbilt.edu) for a copy of his current Curriculum Vitae. He is especially thankful to have the privilege of working with such a talented and inter-disciplinary team of professionals from dozens of different training backgrounds to conduct this research in such an important public health domain. Importantly, he is married to Dr. Kim Ely, a surgical pathologist at Vanderbilt (herself a graduate of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tulane University School of Medicine and also a member of AOA), with whom he has 3 daughters who are together the pride of his life.