Dr. Cato T. Laurencin Receives Society for Biomaterials’ Highest Honor

Dr. Cato T. Laurencin in his lab at UConn Health. (Lanny Nagler for UConn)
Dr. Cato T. Laurencin in his lab at UConn Health. (Lanny Nagler for UConn)
Dr. Cato Laurencin.
Dr. Cato Laurencin was recognized recently by the Society for Biomaterials.

UConn’s Dr. Cato T. Laurencin is the recipient of the 2016 Founders Award, the highest honor of The Society For Biomaterials.

As a leading surgeon-scientist in orthopaedic surgery, engineering, and materials science and a pioneer of the field of regenerative engineering, Laurencin received this prestigious honor for his landmark and long-term contributions to the field of biomaterials science. He will be honored at the 2016 World Biomaterials Congress in Montreal, Canada on May 18, 2016.

“Dr. Laurencin has been a pioneer in biomaterials research, education, and entrepreneurship, having been one of the original investigators for the incorporation of nanotechnology into the biomaterials field,” says Thomas Webster, president of The Society For Biomaterials. “As a researcher and clinician, he serves as a model to us all concerning how to conduct ground-breaking fundamental and applied biomaterials research to make concrete advances in human health.”

“I am honored to receive this exceptional recognition from The Society For Biomaterials,” says Laurencin, a professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering at UConn and director of The Institute for Regenerative Engineering at UConn Health. “I thank the Society and look forward to advancing the discipline with new initiatives including the HEAL Project – a newly launched grand research challenge with the goals of engineering a human knee in seven years, and an entire limb within 15 years.”

Laurencin serves as the eighth University Professor in UConn’s history and as Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) at UConn. He is also the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and director of The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical, Biological, Physical, and Engineering Sciences at UConn Health. Laurencin is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering.

Joel D. Bumgardner, chair of the Awards Committee of The Society For Biomaterials adds, “Dr. Cato Laurencin has become a world leader in nanomaterials, and tissue engineering, working across the spectrum from establishing basic science and biomaterial properties to translating discoveries into clinical practice. Also, his work has led to the development of a new area called regenerative engineering. This emerging area builds on and synergizes principles in biomaterials engineering and stem cell/developmental biology to formulate new paradigms for effective repair/regeneration of diseased/damaged tissues.

Bumgardner also noted Laurencin’s mentorship of young faculty and students – “a legacy that will have a significant and long-ranging impact in the broad biomaterials community.”