The John P. McGovern Compleat Physician Award is presented to Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, chief executive officer of The Cato T. Laurencin Institute for Regenerative Engineering at the University of Connecticut, for his dedication and contributions broadly to the medical field.
The award is given by the Houston Academy of Medicine to individuals who exemplify the life and practices of Sir William Osler, who was considered the “Father of Modern American Medicine.” The award seeks to identify and recognize multi-accomplished physicians who have enriched the field of medicine with excellence and humaneness.
Laurencin was nominated by the National Medical Association (NMA). Yolanda Lawson, MD, FACOG, president of the NMA stated, “Dr. Laurencin served as Speaker of the House of Delegates of the NMA, and he co-founded the W. Montague Cobb/NMA Health Disparities Institute. The W. Montague Cobb/NMA Health Institute and the National Medical Association present the Cato T. Laurencin Lifetime Research Achievement Award at our opening ceremonies each year. It is wonderful to see this truly distinguished member of our Association receive this prestigious award.”
Laurencin’s accomplishments are integrated throughout medicine, engineering, science, technology, and the social sciences. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Inventors. An orthopaedic shoulder and knee surgeon, he has been selected to America’s Top Doctors and Connecticut’s Top Doctors. He received the Nicolas Andry Award (named after the father of orthopaedic surgery) from the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons, and the Distinguished Contributions to Orthopaedics Award from the American Orthopaedic Association.
In engineering, he is the founder of the field of Regenerative Engineering and received the NIH Director’s Pioneer Research Grant for his work. In science, he has made fundamental discoveries across chemistry and materials science, earning him the Priestley Medal from the American Chemical Society and the Von Hippel Award from the Materials Research Society, their highest honors. In technology his inventions have helped immensely in improving the human condition. He received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in ceremonies at the White House and was named Inventor of the Year by the Intellectual Property Owners Educational Foundation. Previous Inventor of the Year recipients include inventors of mRNA vaccine technology and CRISPR technology.
Laurencin is active in working to achieve racial justice and equity. He is the editor in chief of the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities and received the Herbert V. Nickens Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) for his work in promoting fairness, anti-racism, and justice.
At UConn, Laurencin is the University Professor and Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University, his medical degree with Magna Cum Laude honors from the Harvard Medical School, and his Ph.D. in biochemical engineering/biotechnology from M.I.T. Laurencin completed the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Surgery Program where he was selected as chief resident at the Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He then completed a fellowship in sports medicine and shoulder surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, where he worked with the team doctors for the New York Mets and St. John’s University.