John Devlin, Northeastern University

John Devlin



Pharmacy and Health Systems Science


Critical care


Dr. Devlin’s research that has been supported by more than $5 million in federal and industry funding and resulted in more than 200 peer-reviewed publications focuses on the detection, prevention and treatment of delirium and disrupted sleep in the ICU and the pharmacoepidemiology of delirium in critically ill adults.

In addition to his roles at Northeastern, he is a critical care pharmacist and Associate Scientist in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

He has mentored multiple ICU pharmacists through a long-standing Northeastern critical care fellowship/PhD program. Dr. Devlin chaired SCCM’s 2018 PADIS guidelines and served as panel member for ATS’s recent ICU sleep research task force.

He currently serves as a NIDUS co-investigator; co-directing the dissemination core and its annual research bootcamp. He is a member of the editorial boards of Critical Care Medicine and Pharmacotherapy and is a past president of the American Delirium Society. 


Research Interests
Intensive Care, Delirium, Sedation, Sleep

Dr. Devlin, in collaboration with members of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry at Tufts Medical Center, directs a federally-funded, clinical research program surrounding the assessment and treatment of delirium and agitation in the intensive care unit.

Selected Publications

Duprey MS, Dijkstra-Kersten SMA, Zaal IJ, Briesacher BA, Saczynski JS, Griffith, JL, Slooter AJC, Devlin JW. Opioid use increases the risk of delirium independently of pain in critically ill adults. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2021;204(5):566-572  

Hughes C, Mailloux P, Devlin JW, et al. Dexmedetomidine vs. propofol for sedation in mechanically ventilated adults with sepsis. New Engl J Med 2021; 384(15):1424-1436.   

Devlin JW, Skrobik Y, Gelinas C, et al. Clinical practice guidelines for the prevention and management of pain, agitation/sedation, delirium, immobility, and sleep disruption in adult patients in the intensive care unit. Crit Care Med 2018; 46(9):e825-e873.  

Mehta S, Burry L, Cook D, Fergusson D, Steinburg M, Granton J, Herridge M, Ferguson N, Devlin JW. A randomized trial of daily sedative interruption in mechanically ventilated critically ill patients cared for with a sedation protocol. JAMA 2010;308(19):1985-92.  

Devlin, JW, Roberts R, Fong JJ, et al. Efficacy and safety of quetiapine for delirium in the ICU: A randomized, doubleblind, placebo- controlled pilot study. Crit Care Med 2010. Feb;38(2):419-27 

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