Ellen Dorinda Shelley was named after her mother Ellen (Shattuck) Loeffel who was a physician at a time when few women went to medical school. Dr. Shelley grew up in St. Louis and graduated from the John Burroughs School before attending Mount Holyoke College where she graduated with a degree in Zoology. She spent post-doctoral time at Stanford after completing her medical studies and dermatology training at the University of Missouri.
Dr. Shelley chaired the dermatology programs at The University of Illinois at Peoria and The University of Toledo before embarking on a private practice in 1997. She contributed over two hundred publications to the medical literature. Dr. Shelley was a recipient of the Rose Hirschler Award and the Walter B. Shelley Leadership award from the Women’s Dermatologic Society. She also served as president of the Women’s Dermatologic Society and is a significant role model and leader for many of the women in Dermatology who have come behind her.
In recent years she has successfully reinvented herself as an author of children’s books.