On the Road: Commencement Honors for Orthopedic Surgeons

UConn Health orthopedic surgeons Dr. Cato T. Laurencin and Dr. Katherine Coyner are being honored May 11 at the commencement ceremonies of prestigious institutions of higher education.

Katherine Coyner M.D., orthopedic surgeon, works with a patient at the UConn Musculoskeletal Institute at UConn Health in Farmington (Stan Godlewski for UConn Health).

Two UConn Health orthopedic surgeons are being honored May 11 at the commencement ceremonies of prestigious institutions of higher education. The schools are Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

“It’s wonderful for the rest of the nation to understand what tremendous surgeons, educators, and researchers we have here at UConn,” said Dr. Augustus D. Mazzocca, chair of UConn Health’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Dr. Cato T. Laurencin (Steven Laschever for UConn Health Center)
Dr. Cato T. Laurencin 

Doctor of Science for Dr. Cato T. Laurencin

At Mount Sinai’s medical school commencement Surgeon-Scientist Dr. Cato T. Laurencin will be bestowed an honorary Doctor of Science degree at Lincoln Center in Manhattan.

The honorary degree’s citation proclaims, “Doctor Cato T. Laurencin, for your revolutionary impact on the fields of biomaterials, stem cell science, nanotechnology, drug delivery systems, and regenerative engineering, for advancing our ability to treat diseases and heal injuries, and for inspiring important lines of inquiry now and in the future, it is a privilege to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa.”

Internationally-renowned Laurencin serves as University Professor at the University of Connecticut, and the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Chair in Orthopaedic Surgery and director of both the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical, Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences and the Institute for Regenerative Engineering at UConn Health. He is also CEO of the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS). He is an elected member of both the National Academy of Medicine and of the National Academy of Engineering, and a recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the nation’s highest honor for technological achievement.

After earning his degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University, Laurencin earned his M.D., Magna Cum Laude, from Harvard Medical School and a Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“There is no question about Dr. Laurencin’s research success,” said Mazzocca. “He is also a tremendous humanitarian and educator. We are glad to have him as part of our UConn Health team.”


Dr. Katherine Coyner

Distinguished Achievement Award for Dr. Katherine Coyner

UConn Health’s Dr. Katherine Coyner, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery, will be honored by her alma mater UMass Amherst with its Distinguished Achievement Award.

At UMass’s commencement ceremony for its 5,500 undergraduates at McGuirk Alumni Stadium, Coyner will honored for her high accomplishments in her profession and her notable contributions to society.

Coyner, graduated in 2001 from UMass. She was two-time captain of the women’s basketball team, and the second player in UMass history to score 1,000 points and total more than 500 assists in a career. A starting point guard, Coyner holds top-10 rankings in 30 different areas of accomplishment in her collegiate basketball career. She earned her medical degree from Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine. As the first woman in the orthopedic surgery program, she completed her residency at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan.

She serves as a UConn Health Orthopedics and Sports Medicine physician, team physician for the University of Connecticut’s UConn Huskies, and head team doctor for the WNBA Connecticut Sun.

In addition, Coyner is active outside of the medical field. She hosts workshops for young women in high schools and medical schools to expose them to opportunities in orthopedic surgery and engineering. For many years she has also been involved in the Perry Initiative, an organization committed to inspiring young women to be leaders in the fields of orthopedic surgery and engineering.

“Dr. Coyner is a valuable member of our global sports medicine team,” said Mazzocca. “Her efforts in creating programs for young women encouraging them to go into medicine and science is nationally recognized.  She is a great mentor and surgeon.”