Dr. Cato T. Laurencin of UConn Inducted at the Plastics Hall of Fame Ceremony

Laurencin made breakthroughs using polymeric materials in medical devices, biologics, and pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Cato Laurencin, left, receiving the Plastics Hall of Fame medal.

On May 5, 2024, Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, University Professor and Chief Executive Officer of The Cato T. Laurencin Institute for Regenerative Engineering, was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame at their ceremony in Orlando, Florida. Laurencin was recognized for his work in pioneering the field of regenerative engineering and utilizing polymeric materials in medical devices, biologics, and pharmaceuticals, helping large numbers of people.

Induction into the Plastics Hall of Fame is based on high 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.

“Dr. Laurencin is the leading polymeric materials chemist and scientist applying work to biology. Laurencin’s seminal studies have included the conceptualization and development of polymeric nanofiber technology for tissue regeneration, the design, synthesis, fabrication, and creation of composites of polymers and ceramics for musculoskeletal repair and regeneration,” the Hall of Fame said.

As an innovator and scientist, Laurencin has earned the National Medal of Technology and Innovation for his work, bestowed upon him by President Barack Obama in 2016. He was also declared Inventor of the Year in 2023 by the Intellectual Property Owners’ Education Foundation. More recently, Laurencin received the Kathryn C. Hach Award for Entrepreneurial Success from the American Chemical Society.

At the University of Connecticut, Laurencin is a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, materials sciences and engineering, and biomedical engineering. 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.