Month: April 2021

UConn NAI Celebration Honoring New Fellows and Senior Members

 

The UConn NAI Chapter held a virtual ceremony on Thursday, April 29, 2021 to honor the new Fellows and Senior Members recently elected to the National Academy of Inventors from the chapter.

President and Vice President of the UConn NAI Chapter, Drs. Cato Laurencin and Lakshmi Nair facilitated the program throughout the evening. Followed by UConn President Thomas C. Katsouleas’ opening remarks, UConn Provost Carl Lejuez announced the election of new members.

Elizabeth Dougherty, who sits on the Board of Directors at NAI and is the Eastern Regional Outreach Director for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, shared some encouraging words on the past, present, and future of technology and innovation. The program concluded with comments from Dr. Abhijit Banerjee, UConn’s Office of the Vice President for Research Associate Vice President for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The CT Convergence Institute would like to congratulate all new UConn NAI Fellows and Senior Members!

 

National Academy of Inventors Fellows

Dr. Ki Chon (2020)

Dr. Thomas C. Katsouleas (2020)

National Academy of Inventors Senior Members

Dr. Mostafa Analoui (2021)

Dr. Yupeng Chen (2021)

Dr. Gregory Gallo (2021)

Dr. Chengchun Liu (2021)

Dr. Randall Spencer (2020)

Professor Cato T. Laurencin Has Been Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Dr. Laurencin is the first surgeon in history to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Inventors.

FARMINGTON, CT– On April 26, 2021 the National Academy of Sciences announced that Dr. Cato T. Laurencin was elected as a new member, making him the first surgeon to be elected to membership in the three National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Laurencin is known as a world leader in biomaterials, polymeric materials science, nanotechnology, stem cell science, drug delivery systems, and a field he has pioneered, regenerative engineering. His breakthrough achievements in science, engineering and medicine have resulted in transformative advances in improving human life.  Laurencin’s papers and patents have had broad impact on human health, including pioneering the use of nanotechnology in musculoskeletal regeneration and ushering in a new era in orthopaedic therapies. For this work, Dr. Laurencin received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honor bestowed in America for technological achievement, from President Barack Obama.

Laurencin has also pioneered work in the development of systems for soft tissue regeneration. He invented the Laurencin-Cooper ligament (LC ligament) for ACL regeneration, and engineered grafts for shoulder rotator cuff tendon repair and regeneration. National Geographic Magazine featured the LC Ligament as part of its “100 Scientific Discoveries that Changed the World” edition. Dr. Laurencin received the Philip Hauge Abelson Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) “for signal contributions to the advancement of science in the United States.”  He is the first person in history to receive both the oldest/highest award of the National Academy of Medicine (the Walsh McDermott Medal) and the oldest/highest award of the National Academy of Engineering (the Simon Ramo Founders Award).

A role model in science and champion of social justice, Laurencin has two awards named in his honor. The Society for Biomaterials established The Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. Travel Fellowship given at its opening ceremonies. In addition, The W. Montague Cobb/NMA Health Institute and the National Medical Association (NMA) established the Cato T. Laurencin Lifetime Research Achievement Award, given during the opening ceremonies of the NMA Meeting. He received the 2020 Herbert W. Nickens Award from the AAMC for work in promoting justice, equity and fairness.

Dr. Laurencin is 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. He is a University Professor at UConn, the school’s highest academic rank.  He is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and an elected member of the American Surgical Association. He has been named to the list of America’s Top Doctors for the past consecutive 15 years.

Dr. Laurencin received his B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University, his M.D., Magna Cum Laude, from the Harvard Medical School, and his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was named a Hugh Hampton Young Fellow.

Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

The Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities reports on the scholarly progress of work to understand, address, and ultimately eliminate health disparities based on race and ethnicity. Efforts to explore underlying causes of health disparities and to describe interventions that have been undertaken to address racial and ethnic health disparities are featured. Promising studies that are ongoing or studies that have longer term data are welcome, as are studies that serve as lessons for best practices in eliminating health disparities. Original research articles as well as evolutionary reviews presenting the state-of-the-art thinking on problems centered on health disparities will be considered for publication.

  • The leading journal dedicated to examining and eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities
  • Official Journal of the W. Montague Cobb – NMA Health Institute, whose mission is to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities
  • Original research, systematic reviews, and commentaries presenting the state-of-the-art thinking on problems centered on health disparities will be considered for publication

Connecticut Addiction Research Education with Emphasis on Diversity Outreach (CARE WE DO)

Fentanyl, Heroin and Cocaine Overdose Fatalities are Shifting to the Black Community: An Analysis of the State of Connecticut

Z Helen Wu, PhD1,2; Qiao Yong, MS1,3; Joanne M. Walker, MS1; James J. Grady, DrPH1,4; Cato T. Laurencin, MD, PhD1,5-9

 

The IDEAL Pathway

Addressing racism is key in moving forward as a nation and creating a more equitable environment. Within this paper, Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. describes the critical need to shift from diversity, inclusion, and equity (D.I.E.) to inclusion, diversity, equity, anti-racism, and learning (I.D.E.A.L.)

View publication here

 

The IDEAL Pathway Video

Dr. Laurencin Discusses Health Disparities on Major Media Outlets

Dr. Laurencin discusses various aspects of health disparities with reputable media outlets.

View media segments here

Organizations Consider Adopting Dr. Laurencin’s IDEAL Pathway for Creating a Fair and Just Society

Farmington, CT- In receiving the Herbert W. Nickens Award for Social Justice from the American Association of Medical Colleges in December, 2020, Dr. Laurencin, University Professor and Van Dusen Distinguished Professor at UConn, presented his vision for the creation of a fair and just society.  Dr. Cato T. Laurencin described the IDEAL Pathway, characterized by inclusion, diversity, equity, anti-racism, and learning (IDEAL).

Various organizations are looking closely at adopting the IDEAL Pathway approach as they work create or enhance intentional systems that promote diversity.

Dr. Laurencin states “Part of the impetus for the IDEAL Path is my belief that to truly have an inclusive society we must address racism, and be open to creating an environment of learning for all.”

Most recently, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE) adopted the IDEAL Pathway as their diversity platform. They stated, “AIChE is committed to promoting a fair, just, and equitable profession and society. Groups that have faced discrimination continue to encounter challenges when entering into or participating in engineering and science professions. We encourage inclusion and intentional representation of people from diverse backgrounds and experiences because it is ethical and honorable, and it enhances the innovation and creativity necessary to find solutions to current and future challenges. We aim to eliminate disparities in treatment, racism, and any form of discrimination from our profession — recognizing that specialized strategies will be required for distinct groups, and that long-standing narratives will need to be combated. As members of our AIChE Community, we have an obligation to support and celebrate our advancement along an IDEAL path.”

Dr. Laurencin stated “I hope to be able to work with individuals across the country in the area of inclusion, diversity, equity, anti-racism, and learning, as we put into place an IDEAL path for achieving a better society.”

For more information on the IDEAL Pathway, click here for a short video.

Dr. Chia-Ling Kuo Receives Supplement to Continue Research on Alzheimer’s Disease

We are proud to announce that Chia-Ling Kuo, Ph.D., a Biostatistician at the Connecticut Convergence Institute has made almost every major headline due to her recent paper published in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. Her latest publication shows that there is a gene linked to dementia which increases the risk of developing severe symptoms of COVID-19.

Read more about Dr. Kuo’s discoveries on any of the following:

FORBES

YAHOO.COM

MEDSCAPE

UConn Today

BREITBART

THE GUARDIAN

UPI.COM

The Daily Beast

The Sun

ITV.Com

Mirror/UK

On behalf of the Connecticut Convergence Institute we congratulate Dr. Kuo on her major achievement!