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Joan Stein-Streilein
July 02, 1934 -- January 04, 2021

Dr. Joan Stein-Streilein, loving mother, grandmother and wife, accomplished scientist, and prolific artist, passed away on January 4th, 2021, in Dallas, Texas at the age of 86. Joan’s scientific career spanned 45+ years and several prominent academic medical institutions.


Joan was born and raised in North Wales, Pennsylvania. She attended North Wales High School and graduated valedictorian of her class. In 1952, she attended Gettysburg College and majored in chemistry. It was there that she met Wayne Streilein, also a chemistry major, who became her intellectual and emotional soulmate for the next 52 years, until his death in 2004. She received her B.A. degree in 1956.


Joan and Wayne married in 1957 and moved to Philadelphia for Wayne’s medical education. During this time she worked in a chemistry lab of a local

manufacturing company and started their family. Upon completion of Wayne’s medical training the family moved to Dallas in 1970 and Joan began working in Wayne’s lab. It wasn’t long after that her passion for science compelled her to obtain her Ph.D in microbiology, defending her thesis work in 1976 from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. She would become an assistant professor of microbiology at the same institution.


In 1984, Joan moved with Wayne to Miami, Florida, where Joan held the position of Associate Professor of Pathology at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. Gettysburg College recognized her career with an Outstanding Alumni award in 1995. In 1996, Joan joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School as an Associate Professor in the department of Ophthalmology and as a Senior Scientist at the Schepens Eye Research Institute. In 2014 she retired, at the age of 80, becoming Emeritus senior Scientist at the Schepens Eye Research Institute, and moved to Dallas.


Joan was also a very talented and creative artist who constantly investigated new methods of self-expression. She taught herself to use oils, watercolors and pastels, and produced many well-regarded paintings and sketches. In later years, she focused on ceramics and created engaging yet, functional pieces that incorporated her painterly style.


Joan was a fiercely intelligent woman who grew up in an era when options were limited for women. She fought hard to establish herself and became a nationally and internationally respected individual, scientist and artist.


Joan is survived by a daughter, Laura Streilein Berend of Fairview, Tex.; and two sons, William, of Sudbury, Mass., and Robert, of Durham, N.C.; a brother, Richard, of Lansdale, Pennsylvania; and 11 grandchildren.


Due to the pandemic, memorial services will be postponed until summer of 2021; details will be forthcoming. Memorial contributions may be directed to UT Southwestern Medical Center, P. O. Box 910888, Dallas, TX 75391-0888 or online at to support the J. Wayne Streilein Professorship in Immunology.


Marjorie Nichols January 08, 2021

Carrollton , Texas

Laura and the rest of the family, Joan was a friend of mine from Brookhaven's ceramic class. I will miss her greatly. She was beloved by all of us.

Carolyn Kiley January 08, 2021

Friend Dallas , Texas

How shocking to learn of Joan’s death. She was a wonderful friend I met at Brookhaven. We enjoyed numerous dinners together-loved her wry humor and optimism. What a lovely woman. I will miss her.

Carolyn S. Bellefeuille January 08, 2021

work acquaintance West Boxford , Massachusetts

I was surprised and deeply saddened to hear about Joan's death.I knew Joan from the Schepens Eye Research Institute. She was a lovely person, and I extend my deepest sympathy to her family.

Jerry Niederkorn January 08, 2021

friend and colleague Dallas , Texas

Joan was a remarkable person in everyway. A devoted mother, grandmother, and friend. I was privileged to be her friend and colleague for over 4 decades. Not only was she an outstanding scientist but she was also an accomplished artist and potter - I treasure the coffee cup she made for me several years ago and it will remind me of her in years to come. I will miss her.

Diane BEBER January 08, 2021

Friend Muami , Florida

So sorry! Call me , as I gave something to tell you about your wonderful Mother! 305-742-8225. We have been friends for over 40 years. Friend of both mom and gear breaks,

Lynn Armstrong January 08, 2021

Friend, teacher, fellow potter Dallas , Texas

So sorry to hear of Joan’s passing! We were so looking forward to getting the pottery group together after this COVID insanity is over. Joan was such an inspiration to me of a life lived well! I will miss her creative spark in my life.

Mary Steele January 08, 2021

treasured friend TEMPLE , Texas

My husband Dean and I have been friends with Joan and Wayne for decades. Dean and Wayne roomed together their first year at University of Pennsylvania Medical School. They were in each other's weddings. Joan was our son's Godson and our young families grew up together in Philadelphia and Dallas. She and I were like sisters and Dean and Wayne were as close as brothers. Our children felt a special connection to them both. We managed to stay connected while they pursued their medical careers in Miami and Boston and thrilled when Joan moved back to Dallas after she retired. We will miss her greatly.

Stephen Potter January 08, 2021

friend Dallas , Texas

So sad; was looking forward to two more ceramics classes with Joan at Brookhaven, starting later this month. Joan and I had become friends, lunch buddies at times, and she helped coached me with my more beginning ceramics skills. I will miss her, as will many of our classmates.

Dr. Jim Stalder January 09, 2021

Fellow Potter Dallas , Texas

I'm sorry for your loss and so is the Ceramic Community at Dallas Collage. Who will talk "science" with me in the studio now that Joan has passed on?

Reme Gold January 09, 2021

Friend Brighton , Massachusetts

Joan was a good friend from Mudflat Pottery Studio in Somerville, MA. She was a brilliant scientist, and very talented artist. I visited her in Dallas when I was there, and she was very happy returning to Dallas to be near her daughter, Laura. All of us at Mudflat Studio will miss her. She lived a great life filled with travel, art, and science.

Ann Cary January 09, 2021

Ceramic art classmate Dallas , Texas

I am so saddened to learn of Joan’s passing and send deepest condolences to all her family and friends. I knew her as a brilliant talented artist. She always came up with amazing, well executed projects that were so beautiful. She was kind and helpful to me offering lots of advice and insights while we were in the lab together. I will miss her I and send hugs to of you who loved her. Ann

Ann Cary January 09, 2021

Ceramic art classmate Dallas , Texas

I am so saddened to learn of Joan’s passing and send deepest condolences to all her family and friends. I knew her as a brilliant talented artist. She always came up with amazing, well executed projects that were so beautiful. She was kind and helpful to me offering lots of advice and insights while we were in the lab together. I will miss her I and send hugs to of you who loved her. Ann

Elise Greenberg January 13, 2021

Dallas , Texas

Joan was my friend, as she was to so many others. She was a complex woman who expressed herself well through words and art. She was genteel yet commanding. Joan was well respected. I will miss her.

Jeannine Stein January 14, 2021

Sister-in-law Oro Valley , Arizona

I was so shocked to hear of Joan’s passing. She was a dear friend. Don and I spent some great times with her in Beverly, Tucson and Puerto Penasco, MX I am keeping you Lauren, Billy and Bobby in my prayers. Love, Aunt Jeannine

Jane Fanjoy January 15, 2021

MA Lions district 33N Wakefield , Massachusetts

I met Joan at a MASS Lions eye research meeting and invited her to come to a Lions meeting where she became a member of the Beverly Lions Club. We maintained our friendship when she moved to Texas and I missed her so much. My condolences to her family my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Susan Lai April 09, 2021

co-worker Paris , Louisiana

I know Joan and her husband Dr. Streiline are very nice couples in Schephen Eye Research Institute - Harvard Medical School. She asked me work for her, she told me she was so glad to visited her website. But I worked for her husband -CEO, Chairman and President of Schepen Eye Research Institute, he died suddently at 68. I am so sorry, both of them died. They are exellent scientists. Susan

Russell Tomar June 28, 2021

friend and colleague VERONA , Wisconsin

Just learned of Joanie's death. She and Wayne were wonderful and adventurous friends who embraced life. Miss them.

Danny Moore October 29, 2021

coworker Rainbow , Texas

I worked in Dr. Beer's lab for several years. In the new building, our lab was adjacent to the Steilein lab and we were all a part of the Billingham lab group. Helen and Joan were the only women in their lab. Joan was kind of a mother to both labs and had a serene deameanor to keep things going smoothly through rough patches. I emailed her a few years ago and she told of Wayne's passing and of his accomplishments. As was her characteristic, she did not trumpet her own accomplishments. I remember with fondness our interactions those many years ago. Sorry I am so late to notice your mother's passing.