Obituary: Susan E. Lanzendorf, director of IVF lab, 54

Susan E. Lanzendorf, PhD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of the in vitro fertilization lab at Washington University, died Tuesday, April 2, 2013, from complications of pancreatic cancer. She was 54.


Lanzendorf, a pioneer in the field of reproductive medicine, joined Washington University School of Medicine in 2002. Her early research led to advances in micromanipulation techniques and changed the treatment for male factor infertility. She mentored many young men and women professionally and academically and offered her guidance in the establishment of fertility clinics around the world.

“Susan was a key member of the Washington University Infertility and Reproductive Medicine Center,” said Randall Odem, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. “Her leadership and hard work will not be forgotten. She has helped make many of our patients become parents, and they will always be grateful.”

Lanzendorf earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1981 and a PhD in biology from Old Dominion University/Eastern Viriginia Medical School in 1987. Before joining Washington University, she served as director of gamete and embryo research at the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Services were held April 6 at Oak Hill Funeral Home and Cemetery in St. Louis.

She is survived by her fiancé, Terrance Crocker; daughters Marie and Sophia Lanzendorf; her parents, Richard and Mildred Lanzendorf; and a brother, Michael (Joyce Ann) Lanzendorf. Another brother, Richard Lanzendorf Jr., died in 1983.

Memorial donations may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.