The Cardiovascular Research Foundation of Southern California is sad to announce the death of William Elson Shell, MD on March 28, 2017 at age 74.
His family has requested contributions in his memory be made to the Cardiovascular Research Foundation of Southern California. To that end, we have established a scholarship in collaboration with the Foundation of the California Chapter of the American College of Cardiology.
Congratulations to Richard Cheng, MD, the 2017 recipient of the $5,000 William E. Shell MD Award
This scholarship will be awarded annually to one outstanding individual who best represents unusual excellence. To contribute in memory of Dr. Shell, please use the red button below.
About Dr. Shell
Dr. Shell was a friend, colleague and collaborator with our Foundation’s physicians and research team. We extend our condolences to his wife, Lisa; his children Jeff, Stephanie, Dana and Daniel; his seven grandchildren; his brother, Richard; and his nieces, nephews and many friends.
A native of Detroit, Dr. Shell graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School. At the end of the Vietnam War, he served two years in the U.S. Air Force where he was the Chief of the Coronary Care Unit at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, MS. While there, he was the first American physician on the American Soviet Exchange Program for which he was awarded a Presidential Citation by President Richard M. Nixon.
During his tenure as a member of the cardiology staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from 1982 to 1995, he planned and implemented the merger of the Coronary Care Unit there. He was also central to the multi-million-dollar National Institute Research Grants which led to international recognition and distinction for the hospital. Dr. Shell made groundbreaking contributions toward how to measure heart attacks in experimental models as well as humans, using complex mathematical formulations of the heart and led the team that discovered the cardio-specific enzyme CK-MB. Under his direction, the Coronary Care Unit helped reduce mortality from heart attacks five-fold over just 20 years.
His colleagues remember him for his great intellectual depth and ability to think outside the box as well as for finding solutions to what seemed like insoluble problems.