Dr. Robin A. Ely graduated from Georgetown University in 1977 and completed her Family Medicine residency at the Prince George’s Hospital and Medical Center in 1981. She then established The Center of Integrative Medicine wherein she utilized both standard and alternative approaches to care for her patient population.
In 1983, Dr. Ely’s second child, Brian Berman, was diagnosed with Gaucher’s disease for which there was no treatment. With the help of her mother, Sylvia Ely, she discovered the research being conducted by Dr. Roscoe Brady at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Ely went to work voluntarily in his laboratory. Brian was rapidly becoming very ill. Noting his small size and the fact that he still had his spleen, Dr. Ely suggested that Brian be the first patient to receive a modified enzyme to replace the one that is diminished in Gaucher’s. Based on Brian’s clinical response and subsequent clinical trials, this treatment spawned a new generation of genetic research and treatments which now address many disorders worldwide.
Dr. Ely is a Founding member of the National Gaucher Foundation. In 1984 alongside Brian’s father, Dennis Berman, and Brian’s uncle, Michael David Epstein, they established the National Gaucher Foundation. As both President and Medical Director, Dr. Ely facilitated the US FDA studies and subsequent approval of the first enzyme replacement treatment for Gaucher disease. She traveled to Israel and, with the help of the local clinical groups, was involved with the approval process there as well.
Over the last 30 years, while simultaneously pursuing various other medical research and clinical endeavors, Dr. Ely has maintained her involvement with NGF, including intermittent roles as President, Medical Director and Director of the NGF Medical Advisory Board, all the while continuously serving on NGF’s Board of Directors.
Currently, Dr. Ely serves as Clinical Advisor, specifically overseeing a diagnostic initiative aimed at the Jewish population in New York. Additionally, she is involved in research into the role that inflammation plays in the symptoms of Gaucher.