An Einstein Family Shares the Love

Lois Jovanovic, M.D. ’73
Kevin Jovanovic, M.D. ’00

Lois Jovanovic, M.D. ’73, smiles in almost every photo ever taken of her. She had much to smile about: Her trailblazing research helped thousands of women with diabetes to become mothers. She was also the mother of two Albert Einstein College of Medicine graduates.

Jovanovic Family

Born in Minneapolis, Lois Blaustone majored in biology at Barnard University, earned a master’s degree in Hebrew literature from the Jewish Theological Seminary, met her obstetrician/gynecologist husband, Radoslav Jovanovic, M.D., at Einstein, and graduated in 1973. She completed her internal medicine residency and endocrinology/metabolism fellowship at New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical College.

Mothers, Babies, and Diabetes

Said her son Kevin Jovanovic, M.D. ’00, “Pregnancy can throw blood sugar levels out of whack, but in the late 1970s doctors thought that giving insulin to pregnant women with diabetes at the levels needed for full blood sugar control could harm or even kill mom and baby.” During her endocrinology fellowship, Dr. Lois Jovanovic challenged that idea: Her first research study showed that women who maintained normal blood glucose levels could have healthy babies. A year later, in 1981, the American Journal of Medicine published an article on her trial of 52 diabetic women that brought conclusive proof to the world. Dr. Lois Jovanovic helped countless women realize their dream of becoming mothers.

It was also during Dr. Lois Jovanovic’s fellowship that she learned of her own Type 1 diabetes, an unwelcome inheritance from her paternal grandmother and from her father, who died of the disease at age 50. Her diabetes was diagnosed within 24 hours of the birth of her second child, Larisa (now Larisa Taylor, M.D.). But taking control of her blood sugar levels gave Dr. Lois Jovanovic new credibility with patients and fellow professionals, and her children were her joy; Kevin joined Einstein’s Class of 2000 and Larisa the Class of 2001. “Being in medical school with Larisa was a gift—it brought us closer than ever before,” said Dr. Kevin Jovanovic. Upon their graduations, Kevin and Larisa were hooded by their parents. “That was incredibly special too,” he said. Both graduates became obstetrician/gynecologists.

Dr. Larisa Taylor practices in California, where her mother was CEO and chief scientific officer of the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute until she retired in 2013, and she is affiliated with San Jose Medical Center. Dr. Kevin Jovanovic settled closer to home. “I’m a New York City kid,” he said. After a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University Medical School, where he received Yale’s Outstanding Laparoscopic Surgeon award, he completed a fellowship at the Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute in Beverly Hills, then returned East to join his father’s Fifth Avenue OB/GYN practice.

Kevin Jovanovic

A Gynecology/Dermatology Connection

Dr. Kevin Jovanovic loves his work, which on a given day might involve providing hormone replacement; treating infertility, chronic pelvic pain, or urinary incontinence; or helping a woman birth a baby at Lenox Hill Hospital, where he is an attending physician and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology.

To women who have lost vaginal muscle tone, strength, and control after childbirth, he also offers laser vaginal rejuvenation (LVR). “The way it works is a laser uses heat from a CO2 laser used inside the vagina triggers collagen production and restores blood flow,” he explained. “We tighten the muscles, returning them to their natural shape and position, and reduce the diameter of the vagina.” LVR blends gynecology and dermatology. Though it was at first controversial for a gynecologist to perform a vaginal cosmetic procedure, it is now commonplace, said Dr. Kevin Jovanovic. He himself is Board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Surgeons, and the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery.

“Einstein Was the Best”

Dr. Kevin Jovanovic has remained in touch with Einstein and is a faithful contributor to the Annual Fund. “Einstein was the best part of my education,” he said. “Two years of hardcore studying and learning are definitely taxing, but then you get two years of putting what you learned to the test.” He estimated that he delivered 30 babies in his fourth year, “an amazing experience,” he said. “And I was first assist on several surgeries. I was in awe that you could do that to the human body and somehow the person survived.”

“In private practice you do everything, you have to know the medicine,” he said, “and it was an easy transition because I had touched it and done it at Einstein.”

In 2003, Drs. Lois, Kevin, and Larisa returned to campus when Dr. Lois Jovanovic received Einstein’s Dominick P. Purpura Distinguished Alumni Award and Distinguished Alumni Clinical Practitioner Award. It was not just for her work with diabetes in pregnancy and her leadership of the landmark Diabetes in Early Pregnancy study; she was also principal investigator of the broader Diabetes Control and Complications Trial; a catalyst for early artificial pancreas research; creator of an insulin dosage calculator, and much more.

Kevin Jovanovic

A Lasting Legacy

Dr. Lois Jovanovic passed away in 2018. “A star has fallen,” said the statement from the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute. But her legacy lives on, through the mothers and babies she helped and through a scholarship that Dr. Kevin Jovanovic has established to honor her. “It was only natural, upon her passing, to think about what we could do to cement the fact that Einstein was an integral part of her life,” he said. “Einstein has been a special place for our whole family, but especially for her. She always talked about how Einstein molded her because she was one of the first women, how different it was back then, how it pushed her to be better. She became a great doctor, and the seed was planted at Einstein.”

The Lois Jovanovic, M.D. ’73 Endowed Scholarship Fund provides need-based financial support to a medical student or students, and the fund is matched 1:1 as part of a $5 million gift from an anonymous donor.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine offers appreciation and gratitude to this phenomenal family. To establish your own legacy at Einstein through a named scholarship fund in support of Einstein students, please contact Min Um-Mandyhan at