Joan Pluzdrak Dorn, Ph.D.




South High School





Joan Pluzdrak Dorn, Ph.D. (1972) is an associate professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine School of Public Health and Health Professions at the State University of New York, University at Buffalo where she has taught in the Epidemiology Graduate Program, the Medical School, and the Exercise and Nutrition Sciences and Rehabilitation Sciences Department.

Joan was an accomplished student and athlete at Williamsville South, competing in field hockey, basketball, volleyball, swimming and softball. She was a leader in the Girls Athletic Association and a student assistant in the Physical Education Department. Her love for sports and fitness inspired Joan to earn a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education at Ithaca College, followed by a master’s in Physical Education and Exercise Physiology and her doctorate in Epidemiology and Community Health at the University at Buffalo.

A recognized expert in community health and disease prevention, much of her research focuses on cardiovascular disease epidemiology, particularly the role of physical activity in heart disease prevention. Dr. Dorn is part of a team that has brought over $8.5 million in research grants to the University at Buffalo. She has published extensively and is a sought-after presenter on both the regional and national level.

Joan’s dedication to community service is evidenced by her active membership on several local volunteer boards as well as her participation in wellness programs for Williamsville Central Schools, the Amherst Police Department, and the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County. She has been a consultant for the Sports Health Foundation for Education and Research and is currently the principal investigator on the Western New York Worksite Wellness Project. She resides in East Amherst, NY with her husband Bob, a 1971 South graduate, and daughter Katie.