Dr. Laughlin completed his premedical training at West Virginia University in 1952 and received his M.D. from the University of Maryland in 1956. After completion of internship and one year of residency in internal medicine, he served in the Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, from 1957 to 1959, and was a rated flight surgeon.
In July 1960 Dr. Laughlin took a leave of absence from the University Hospitals, Cleveland, and was assigned by the NASA Office of Life Science Programs to Project Mercury, for which he developed the medical-data plan. He also assisted in establishing the medical-monitoring training program for Mercury flight controllers and served as the medical monitor at the Bermuda range station.
In addition, he has been the medical monitor of Apollo industry studies. He headed the Biomedical Branch, Life Systems Division, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center. Dr. Laughlin is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.