UConn Engineering Professor to Receive Honorary Degree from the Icahn School of Medicine

Cato Laurencin at his office at UConn Health in Farmington on Oct. 6, 2014. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)
Cato Laurencin at his office at UConn Health in Farmington on Oct. 6, 2014. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, the University of Connecticut’s 8th University Professor in school history, and a tenured professor in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department, the Materials Science and Engineering Department, and the Biomedical Engineering Department, will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai on May 11, recognizing his impact and contributions to the medical field and his pioneering work in Regenerative Engineering.

More specifically, his citation states, “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” (Click here to read full citation).

Laurencin’s work in nanotechnology, polymer-ceramic systems, and engineered tissue regeneration has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation for three decades and has had a tremendous impact on the field, inspiring numerous new technologies that are either available to patients or in the clinical pipeline, and countless other technologies to be developed in the future. His ground-breaking work is also the basis for lifesaving clinical products used in the treatment of brain tumors and musculoskeletal injuries requiring bone and ligament repair, for which he was honored in 2016 with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the nation’s highest honor for technological achievement.

Kazem Kazerounian, Dean of the UConn School of Engineering, echoed the sentiment of the citation, and emphasized the importance of Laurencin to the UConn community and beyond:

“Dr. Laurencin is an asset to the School of Engineering, as an accomplished educator and a voracious researcher,” Kazerounian said. “This honor is well-deserved, and reflects the reputation he has in the medical community, as well as the reverence he holds among his peers.”

Internationally-renowned, Laurencin serves a dual role with UConn Health, as 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), UCONN cross-university translational science institute. He previously served as the UConn Health Center’s Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the UConn School of Medicine, and prior to that was the Lillian T. Pratt Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Virginia, as well as the Orthopaedic Surgeon-in-Chief at the University of Virginia Health System. He is an elected member of both the National Academy of Medicine and of the National Academy of Engineering.

Laurencin has a degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University, graduated Magna Cum Laude with an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and holds a Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology from MIT. To learn more about Laurencin and his work, please click here.