Albert & Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, UConn
Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. is a University Professor at the University of Connecticut (the 8th to be designated in the institution’s over 140 year history). He is the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. He is Professor of Chemical, and Biomolecular Engineering, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at UCONN. Dr. Laurencin is the Founder and Director of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Endowed Center for Biomedical, Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences at the University of Connecticut and C.E.O. of The Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering at UCONN.
Dr. Laurencin earned his B.S.E. degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and his M.D., Magna Cum Laude from the Harvard Medical School where he received the Robinson Award for Surgery. He earned his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was named a Hugh Hampton Young Fellow. Dr. Laurencin completed residency training at the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Surgery Program where he was Chief Resident in Orthopaedic Surgery at the Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He completed fellowship training in Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery, Cornell Medical College, in New York.
Dr. Laurencin has been named to America’s Top Doctors and America’s Top Surgeons, and is a Fellow of the American Surgical Association, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a Fellow of the American Orthopaedic Association, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He is the recipient of the Nicolas Andry Award, the highest honor of the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons.
Clinically Dr. Laurencin has served as a ring side boxing physician for professional boxing in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut. He has been a physician for the USA Boxing Elite Men’s Team and serves on the National Medical Advisory Board for USA Boxing. He has served as Commissioner of Boxing for the State of Connecticut.
In science, Dr. Laurencin is internationally renowned for his scientific work in biomaterials, stem cell science, nanotechnology, drug delivery systems, and a new field he has pioneered, regenerative engineering. Has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense. Laurencin has produced seminal studies in a number of areas. He and his colleagues were the first to develop nanofiber technologies for tissue regeneration. The seminal paper on the work was highlighted on the cover of the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research’s Top 25 Biomaterials Papers of the Past 50 Years edition. His group is credited for pioneering polymer-ceramic systems for bone regeneration. The American Institute of Chemical Engineers specifically cited this achievement in naming him one of the 100 Engineers of the Modern Era at its Centennial Celebration in 2009. His contributions to Biomaterials have been acknowledged by the Society for Biomaterials. He received the Clemson Award from the Society for Contributions to the Biomaterials Literature and the Founder’s Award from the Society for Biomaterials.
Dr. Laurencin is the Founder of the Regenerative Engineering Society, and the Editor in Chief of Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine, published by Springer Nature
As an engineer/scientist and practicing surgeon, Laurencin has been in a unique position to develop new technologies and bring those technologies to patients. Work in the development of engineered systems for bone and ligament regeneration have inspired new technologies that are now available to patients, that are FDA cleared, and/or present in the clinical pipeline. For his work in new technology development, the Society for Biomaterials awarded Dr. Laurencin their Technology Innovation and Development Award. Overall, Dr. Laurencin’s work has had a tremendous impact on many fields. In that the regard, the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering awarded him the Pierre Galletti Award, medical and biological engineering’s highest honor. His work on engineering tissues was honored by Scientific American Magazine as one of the 50 greatest achievements in science in 2007. His work was also highlighted by National Geographic Magazine in its “100 Scientific Discoveries That Changed The World” edition.
Dr. Laurencin’s work has been recognized by various fields and organizations. Dr. Laurencin was honored at the White House where he received the Presidential Faculty Fellowship Award from President William Jefferson Clinton in recognition of his research work bridging medicine and engineering. Dr. Laurencin has received two Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) Awards from the National Science Foundation. In addition, Dr. Laurencin received the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, NIH’s highest and most prestigious research award, for his new field of Regenerative Engineering.
Dr. Laurencin is a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, a Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society, a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and an International Fellow in Biomaterials Science and Engineering. He is a Fellow of the Materials Research Society and a Fellow of the American Chemical Society. Additionally, Dr. Laurencin is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.
Dr. Laurencin is dedicated to mentoring students, especially underrepresented minority engineers and scientists. For his work, he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from President Barack Obama in ceremonies at the White House, the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award for Mentoring, the Alvin H. Crawford Mentoring Award from the J. Robert Gladden Orthopaedic Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Mentor Award.
Dr. Laurencin has been active nationally in a number of leadership roles involving science and technology. He has served as Chair of the College of Fellows for the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and as a member of the Council of the Society for Biomaterials as well as a board member for the Biomedical Engineering Society, the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Dr. Laurencin has served on the National Science Advisory Board for the FDA and the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Advisory Committee. He has been Chair of the Engineering Section for the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine and a member of the Peer Committee for Bioengineering for the National Academy of Engineering. At NIH, he has been a member of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health, a member of the NIH Scientific Management Review Board, a member of the NIH National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, and a member of the NIH National Advisory Council for Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
Dr. Laurencin has worked in addressing issues involving health disparities and diversity. Dr. Laurencin is a core faculty member of the Africana Studies Institute at UCONN and lectures on topics involving health disparities and diversity. He served as Rapporteur for the historic Workshop Proceedings entitled “An American Crisis: The Growing Absense of Black Men in Medicine and Science”
Formerly the Speaker of the House of Delegates of the National Medical Association, Dr. Laurencin has been the Founding Chair of the Board of Directors of the W. Montague Cobb/National Medical Association Health Institute, and the Founding Editor-in-Chief of its Journal, The Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, published by Springer Nature. He has received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award from M.I.T. and the Diversity Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society in recognition of his efforts. The W. Montague Cobb Institute and the National Medical Association established the Cato T. Laurencin Lifetime Research Achievement Award given at the opening ceremonies of the National Medical Association’s Annual Meeting each year, while the Society for Biomaterials established The Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. Travel Fellowship Award given to underrepresented minority students pursuing biomaterials research.
Dr. Laurencin is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering. Internationally, he is an elected Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, an elected Fellow (Foreign) of the India National Academy of Sciences, an elected Fellow (Foreign) of the Indian National Academy of Engineering and is a Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences. Dr. Laurencin is an Academician and Member (Foreign) of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Dr. Laurencin is the recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in ceremonies at the White House. It is the highest honor bestowed in America for technological achievement.