Leadership Distinguished Lecture Series: Regenerative Engineering: The Launch of a Next Generation Field

Date(s) - 01/12/2015
4:00 pm


The next ten years will see unprecedented strides in regenerating musculoskeletal tissues. We are moving from an era of advanced prosthetics, to  a new field termed regenerative engineering. In doing so, we have the capability to begin to address grand challenges in musculoskeletal regeneration.  Tissues such as bone, ligament, and cartilage can now be understood from the cellular level to the tissue level.  We now have the capability to produce these tissues in clinically relevant forms through tissue engineering techniques. Our improved ability to optimize engineered tissues has occurred in part due to an increased appreciation for stem cell technology and nanotechnology, two relatively new tools for the tissue engineer along with a convergence approach which includes understanding the importance of development of biology.

Critical parameters impact the design of novel scaffolds for tissue regeneration. Cellular and intact tissue behavior can be modulated by these designs. Design of systems for regeneration must take place with a holistic and comprehensive approach, understanding the contributions of cells, biological factors, materials and morphogenesis.

Brief Bio:

Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. is the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Laurencin is the founder and director of both the Institute for Regenerative Engineering and the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical, Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences at the University of Connecticut. He also serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science at UCONN. For his outstanding achievements in medicine, engineering and science, and for his distinguished service to the university, UCONN named him a University Professor . He is the 8th in UCONN’s 130 year history.

Dr. Laurencin earned his B.S.E. in chemical engineering from Princeton University and his M.D., Magna Cum Laude, from the Harvard Medical School.  During the  same time he earned his Ph.D. in biochemical engineering/biotechnology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was a Hugh Hampton Young Fellow.

Black Enterprise Magazine named him one of the Top 101 Doctors in America, and he has been named to America’s Top Doctors TM and America’s Top SurgeonsTM. He received the Nicolas Andry Award from the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons (the organization’s highest honor).

Dr. Laurencin’s work in science focuses on biomaterials, nanotechnology, drug delivery, stem cell science and a new field he has pioneered,  Regenerative Engineering.. In 2012, his work was highlighted by National Geographic Magazine in its edition, “100 Scientific Discoveries that Changed the World”.

Dr. Laurencin received the Presidential Faculty Fellowship Award from Bill Clinton in recognition of his research work bridging medicine and engineering. In 2009, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers named him one of the 100 Engineers of the Modern Era at its centennial celebration. Dr. Laurencin is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, a Fellow of the Materials Research Society,  a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, a Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society, a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering,  and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Dr. Laurencin is an outstanding mentor. He has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from Barack Obama, the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award for Mentoring, the Alvin H. Crawford Mentoring Award from the J. Robert Gladden Orthopaedic Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Mentor Award.

Dr. Laurencin has been the scientific founder of 4 companies, and served on the board of Osteotech, a public company, until its sale to Medtronic, Inc. Dr. Laurencin has over 300 publications, numerous patents,  and has written/edited  5 books.

Dr. Laurencin has worked tirelessly for social justice. Formerly the Speaker of the House of Delegates of the National Medical Association, he is the Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of Directors of the W. Montague Cobb/National Medical Association Health Institute, and is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of its journal, The Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. He has received the Martin Luther King, Jr., Leadership Award from M.I.T. and the Diversity Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society in recognition of his efforts.

Dr. Laurencin is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, and an elected member of the National Academy of Inventors.  Internationally, he is an elected member of the African Academy of Sciences and an elected Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences.