United Nations to Honor Dr. Cato T. Laurencin

Dr. Cato T. Laurencin

On Oct. 22 The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization announced University of Connecticut and UConn Health’s Dr. Cato T. Laurencin as a winner of the 2019 UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences.

The Prize is awarded to a maximum of three laureates who have made significant efforts through scientific research towards improving the quality of human life. Laurencin was formally selected by the UNESCO Director-General for his fundamental contributions in the field of regenerative engineering, a field he has pioneered. Laurencin is known worldwide as a leader in biomaterials, nanotechnology, stem cell science, drug delivery systems, and regenerative engineering.

Laurencin will receive the award in February 2020 during the Africa Union Heads of States Summit taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

At the University of Connecticut, Laurencin is the University Professor, the eighth to be designated by the school in its over 135 year history. He is professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, materials science and engineering, and biomedical engineering; the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery; and chief executive officer of the Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering.

In 2016, Laurencin received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honor bestowed in America for technological achievement, presented by the President of the United States. He received the Philip Hauge Abelson Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science “for signal contributions to the advancement of science in the United States.” In addition, he has also received the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Pioneer Award and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation Grant Award.

Laurencin is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the first person to win the oldest honors of both the National Academy of Engineering (the Simon Ramo Founders Award), and the National Academy of Medicine (the Walsh McDermott Medal). He is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Internationally, he is an elected fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, the Indian National Academy of Sciences, the Indian National Academy of Engineering, and the World Academy of Sciences, as well as an Academician and elected member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.