Notable Alums


Specialty: Cardiology

Graduation Year: 2002

Mahir Elder

Mahir Elder, M.D. Res. ’02, Fel. ’05, ’06 is an interventional cardiologist and president of the Heart and Vascular Institute, with locations in Detroit, Dearborn and Southfield, Mich.

Dr. Elder also is medical director of the Cardiac Care Unit and Endovascular Medicine at the Detroit Medical Center’s Heart Hospital, and associate program director for the Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Program there. He is a clinical professor of Internal Medicine for the Wayne State University School of Medicine.

Dr. Elder completed his Internal Medicine residency at the School of Medicine, where he was named Outstanding Intern of the Year in 1999 and Resident of the Year in 2001 and 2002. He also completed his fellowship in Cardiology at WSU, and was named Fellow of the Year in 2003 and 2004.

In 2010, Dr. Elder began designing and developing the Pulmonary Embolism Rescue Team, or PERT, a new approach to treating patients with severe PE. PERT is a complex but noninvasive emergency form of catheterization-based treatment in which skilled specialists use narrow plastic tubes and ultrasound technology to break up blood clots and remove them from lung arteries. The innovative approach includes stationing a full-time, on-site treatment team. The success rate for DMC Heart Hospital PERT patients exceeds 90 percent, compared to 47 percent nationally.

PERT is the first comprehensive program in Michigan and was established in 2010. Later in 2015, physicians of Massachusetts General Hospital collaborated to form the PERT consortium. Dr. Elder’s national PERT program is now disseminating its methods and related research findings to hospitals and physicians everywhere, and includes the largest single-center registry for mechanical treatment of severe PE in the United States. His pioneering work in arterial disease and pulmonary embolism has drawn international attention, and he frequently presents his findings and lectures on PE treatment methods at medical conferences.

Dr. Elder was named a Crain’s Detroit Business Health Care Hero in 2012 for saving limbs and preventing amputations through catheter-assisted cardiovascular therapy, and again in 2017 in recognition of PERT. He has won Hour Detroit Top Doc honors for seven consecutive years. He was named Teacher of the Year by fellows at the School of Medicine and DMC for seven consecutive years as well.

In addition to donating to the WSU School of Medicine’s various scholarship and research programs, Dr. Elder volunteers as a teacher and mentor to improve medical education.