The Plastics Hall of Fame to Induct UConn Professor Cato T. Laurencin

Dr. Laurencin is being recognized for his groundbreaking discoveries in plastics, nanotechnology, biomedical engineering, and surgery.

Dr. Laurencin speaking at an award ceremony, standing at a podium

University Professor Cato T. Laurencin, chief executive officer of The Cato T. Laurencin Institute for Regenerative Engineering and the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Connecticut, will be inducted into The Plastics Hall of Fame.

The Plastics Hall of Fame is the ultimate recognition for a lifetime body of work of an individual whose dedication and exceptional achievements have contributed to the growth and prominence of the industry on a global scale. The induction ceremony will take place May 5 in Orlando, Florida.

“I am honored to be inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame. I want to particularly thank my students who have worked with me since we started Laurencin Labs over 35 years ago,” stated Laurencin.

Induction into the Plastics Hall of Fame is based on accomplishment, and dedication to the advancement of the global industry of plastics. As a pioneer of the field of Regenerative Engineering, Laurencin’s work transcends engineering; he also made breakthroughs using polymeric materials, in medical devices, biologics, and pharmaceuticals. He received the National Institute of Health Director’s Pioneer Research Grant Award and the National Science Foundation’s Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation Award.

Laurencin’s achievements have included polymer chemistry, where he received the Priestley Medal, the highest honor of the American Chemical Society, chemical engineering, where he received the Founders Award (highest honor) from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, materials science, where he received the Von Hippel Award, the highest honor of the Materials Research Society, biomaterials, where he received the Founders Award, the highest honor of the Society for Biomaterials, and applications to medicine, where he received the Distinguished Contributions to Orthopaedics Award from the American Orthopaedic Association, and the Nicolas Andry Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons.

Laurencin’s breakthrough technologies have been achieved often in partnership with industry. The Society for Biomaterials Awarded him their Technology Innovation and Development Award, while the American Chemical Society will award him the Kathryn C. Hach Award for Entrepreneurial Success at their upcoming meeting “for pioneering and outstanding work in entrepreneurship involving polymer-based materials for musculoskeletal regeneration and repair.” He was named Inventor of the Year by the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation, and received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, America’s highest honor for technological achievement from President Barack Obama in ceremonies at the White House.

Laurencin is a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, materials sciences and engineering, and biomedical engineering at the University of Connecticut. He earned a B.S.E in chemical engineering from Princeton University, his medical degree Magna Cum Laude from the Harvard Medical School, and his Ph.D. in biochemical engineering/biotechnology from M.I.T. He is the first engineer-scientist-surgeon to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Inventors.