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Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer, Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering

University of Connecticut

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Thursday, March 19, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.


Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. is the Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering at the University of Connecticut. In that capacity he has built new, broad and innovative programs across the university: in research, education, entrepreneurship, mentoring, the promotion of diversity and equity, and in community outreach. His Institute includes UConn’s National Academy of Inventors Chapter, faculty training to obtain NIH grant awards, training of Latino undergraduate students through the NIH BUILD grant program, and the JUMP Program, providing physical fitness training to urban communities. Dr. Laurencin was previously Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Connecticut where he oversaw a 1 Billion dollar medical center that included the medical school, the dental school, the hospital, the clinical practice plan and the research enterprise. In that role he brought the medical center to profitability, revamped the academic mission, brought a hospital out of probation to full accreditation, cemented relations with area hospitals, achieved record growth in research funding, and was the faculty leader in securing 850 million dollars to rebuild the medical center. In recognition of his efforts, he received a citation from the Connecticut State Legislature, and received the honor of University Professor from the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees, the highest academic distinction in the school. He is the eighth University Professor to be designated in UConn’s over 135 year history.

Dr. Laurencin was previously the Orthopaedic Surgeon-in-Chief of the University of Virginia Health System where he was a leader in UVa’s strategic planning efforts. Previous to that he served as the Helen I. Moorehead Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Vice-Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery at Drexel University where he was the faculty leader on the Drexel University Merger Team tasked with merging the University and the medical enterprise of the institution.

Dr. Laurencin has been a teacher in courses in the college of medicine, the college of engineering and the college of arts and sciences. He is a surgeon, an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, and has been named to America’s Top Doctors for over 15 years. He is an engineer, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the recipient of the Distinguished Engineering Educator Award from the Engineer’s Council. He is the first to win the oldest/highest awards of both the National Academy of Medicine (the Walsh McDermott Medal) and the National Academy of Engineering (the Simon Ramo Founders Award). Funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, he has received their highest grant awards for innovation: the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award and the NSF Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation Award. He has served on advisory boards for NIH (the Advisory Committee to the Director), NSF (the Engineering Directorate Advisory Committee) and the FDA (the National Science Advisory Board).

Dr. Laurencin is dedicated to mentoring students. For his work, he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring in ceremonies at the White House, the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award for Mentoring, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Mentor Award. Dr. Laurencin is proud to have two awards named in his honor: The Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. Travel Fellowship Award for undergraduate students given by the Society for Biomaterials, and The Cato T. Laurencin Lifetime Research Achievement Award given by the Cobb/National Medical Association Health Institute.

Dr. Laurencin is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science where he was awarded the Philip Hauge Abelson Prize, for “signal contributions to the advancement of science in the United States”. The international pioneer of the field of Regenerative Engineering, he is an elected Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, an elected Fellow of the India National Academy of Sciences, an elected Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences. He is an Academician and Member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Dr. Laurencin is the recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Barack Obama. It is the highest honor bestowed in America for technological achievement.

Dr. Laurencin earned his B.S.E. degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and earned his M.D., Magna Cum Laude, from the Harvard Medical School. He earned his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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