Joan E. Lafuze
lafuzeJoan E. Lafuze

Joan Esterline Lafuze has been a member of the American Physiological Society since she was a graduate student in the 1970’s. At the time of the Living History Interview, Lafuze was a Professor of Biology at Indiana University East, Richmond, Indiana and Research and Teaching Associate at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis.  Joan Esterline Lafuze graduated from Shortridge High School in Indianapolis in 1955, Indiana University Bloomington in 1959, St. Vincent Hospital School of Medical Technology and was registered with the American Society of Medical Technologists in 1963.  She received an M.S. in Physiology from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana in 1973 and the Physiology from Indiana University at the School of Medicine in Indianapolis in 1981.  Dr. Lafuze was a post doctoral fellow in the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology laboratory of Robert Baehner , M.D. at Riley Hospital for Children, Indiana University School of Medicine where she remained as a research associate and Professor Part-time in the Department of Physiology. In 1987 she accepted a position as an assistant professor of Biology at Indiana University East, became an associate professor in 1993 and a full professor in 1999.  Dr. Lafuze’s area of research expertise is neutrophil function, especially in terms of neutrophil interaction with endothelium. However, she has also been involved in molecular studies related to acute lymphoblastic leukemia and pancreatic cancer.  Most recently she has been involved with animal studies in neuroscience in the Institute for Psychiatric Research on the Indiana School of Medicine campus in Indianapolis.  Dr. Lafuze has been active in and served as president of Indiana chapters of the Association of Women in Science and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. On a personal level, Joan Esterline Lafuze, was married to Ralph O. Lafuze, an attorney for over fifty years before his death February 24, 2012. They are parents of four biological children, four grandchildren and one great granddaughter.  They also parented several other children.