Krane was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Tucson, the son of a watchmaker and a bookkeeper. He attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon (the Dana Scholarship for Excellence in Humanities, Phi Beta Kappa) and the University of Arizona (MD, Alpha Omega Alpha). He also worked during med school for 13 months the Physiological Laboratory at Cambridge University under the mentorship of Peter Nathanielsz, MD, PhD, introducing the laboratory to computerized data recovery and Fourier analysis of EEG for fetal EEG measurement. He trained in pediatrics and anesthesiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and completed a fellowship in pediatric anesthesiology and critical care at Boston Children's Hospital.
From 1983 until 1994 he was on the faculty at the University of Washington and the staff of Seattle Children's Hospital and Medical Center practicing OR anesthesiology, critical care medicine and pain medicine. There he started one of the first pain centers for children in North America.
In 1994 he joined the faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine as the Chief of Pediatric Anesthesiology and Professor. In 2003, he resigned as the anesthesiology chief but continued as the Chief of Pain Management, the position he holds today. He holds board certification in Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Pediatric Anesthesiology, Critical Care Medicine, and Pain Management, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Elliot Krane has received the Physician’s Recognition Award in both Anesthesiology and Pediatric Critical from the American Medical Association, the Poster Award from the Vienna International Congress on Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care, the Jeffrey Lawson Award for Advocacy in Children’s Pain Relief from the American Pain Society (APS), the Ellis N. Cohen Achievement Award from the Stanford University Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, and the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) Distinguished Career Award in Pediatric Pain. He has also been the recipient of grants from the Mayday Fund, the NIH, the American Medical Association, the Washington State Society of Anesthesiologists, the Diabetes Research and Education Foundation, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists as well as many pharmaceutical companies to assist them in new drug development for the treatment of pediatric pain.