Laughlin received his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa. He did his postdoctoral training also at the University of Iowa and then at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine. He served as Assistant Professor of Physiology at Oral Roberts University Medical School in Tulsa before moving to Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Missouri-Columbia. In 1987 he received a joint appointment to the Department of Physiology in the School of Medicine. In 1992 he was named interim chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, and then Chair in 1994. In 2007, he received the title of Curator’s Professor. Laughlin is currently regarded as one of the world leaders in research on the adaptations of the coronary and skeletal muscle beds to physical activity and inactivity, both in normal animals and in a variety of pathophysiological models of disease, in particular atherosclerosis. In addition, he has made his department one of the leading departments in integrative physiology in the country. Laughlin’s success as a mentor has been through three primary roles: as an instructor, as a mentor, and as chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Missouri. As an instructor, Dr. Laughlin serves as a role model to both students and faculty alike. As a mentor, Dr. Laughlin has worked for over 20 years to provide resources and foster independence in aspiring graduate students, veterinary residents, and postdoctoral fellows. As chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Laughlin has had the unique opportunity to directly impact faculty development.
See "Mentoring as a Player Coach" The Physiologist 53(3): 79-82, 2011