Cato T. Laurencin

University of Connecticut Health Center


Primary Section: 31, Engineering Sciences
Secondary Section: 14, Chemistry
Membership Type: Member (elected 2021)

Biosketch

Dr. Cato T. Laurencin is the University Professor and Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Connecticut. He is Professor of Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at UConn and the Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering at the school. He received his B.S.E. in chemical engineering from Princeton, his M.D., Magna Cum Laude from the Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology from M.I.T.
Dr. Laurencin is the pioneer of the field of Regenerative Engineering. He is the first individual to be awarded the highest/oldest honor of the National Academy of Medicine (the Walsh McDermott Medal) and the highest/oldest honor of the National Academy of Engineering (the Simon Ramo Founder’s Award). He is the first surgeon elected to the 4 major national academies: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Inventors (Fellow). Dr. Laurencin is the recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, America’s highest honor for technological achievement, awarded by President Barack Obama in ceremonies at the White House.

Research Interests

Dr. Laurencin is internationally renowned for work in biomaterials, stem cell science, nanotechnology, and drug delivery systems. He is the pioneer of the field of Regenerative Engineering. His most outstanding achievements have fallen into four areas: the study of composites of polymers and ceramics for bone regeneration, the development of polymeric nanofiber technology for tissue regeneration, the use of polymer fiber matrices for the regeneration of soft tissue of the knee, and founding the field of Regenerative Engineering.
He has made fundamental and seminal contributions to polymeric materials science and engineering, including the introduction of nanotechnology into the biomaterials field for regeneration. He created polymer-ceramic systems for the regeneration of hard tissues for which he was named one of the '100 Engineers of the Modern Era' by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. His work pioneering the regeneration of soft tissues (the Anterior Cruciate Ligament) was featured in National Geographic Magazine’s “100 Discoveries That Changed The World” edition. He received the Founder’s Award (highest award) from the Society for Biomaterials, the Von Hippel Award (highest award) from the Materials Research Society and the James Bailey Award (highest award) from the Society for Biological Engineering. The American Association for the Advancement of Science awarded Dr. Laurencin the Philip Hauge Abelson Prize given ‘for signal contributions to the advancement of science in the United States’.

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