Author: Jini I Davis

Dr. Cato T. Laurencin receives the Founders’ Award

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers Foundation (AIChE) and the AIChE Regenerative Engineering Society has established an award in honor of the society’s founder. The Cato T. Laurencin, Regenerative Engineering Founders’ Award, will recognize the accomplishments of individuals who have demonstrated leadership in the science and practice of convergence research as applied to regenerative engineering — a field pioneered by Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, the RE Society’s Founder. He received the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ Founder’s Award this year at the AICHE annual meeting on November 14. The inaugural award will be presented in 2023 at the Regenerative Engineering Society’s Annual Meeting.

The award consists of a struck medal and an honorarium.

Laurencin, who is internationally renowned for his work in biomaterials, stem cell science, nanotechnology, drug delivery systems, as well the new field of regenerative engineering, serves as the chief executive officer of the Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering Laurencin is the first surgeon in history to be elected to all four national academies: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Inventors. He is the first person in history to receive 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 Founder’s Award). In science, he received the Philip Hauge Abelson Prize given “for signal contributions to the advancement of science in the United States.

The field of regenerative engineering involves the convergence of advanced materials sciences, stem cell science, physics, developmental biology, and clinical translation to regenerate complex tissues and organ systems. The Cato T. Laurencin Regenerative Engineering Society Founders’ Award will be presented to distinguished researchers, innovators, mentors, and teachers who have furthered the goals of this field. Nominations for the inaugural prize are due on April 15, 2023.


10-year Anniversary of Regenerative Engineering Celebration

On November 14, 2022, Dr. Cato Laurencin, the CEO of The Connecticut Convergence Institute and the Regenerative Engineering Society (RES), celebrated ten years of Regenerative Engineering.

Regenerative engineering combines advanced materials sciences, stem cell science, physics, developmental biology, and clinical translation to regenerate complex tissues and organ systems. Embedded in this new field include the following five areas: Advanced Materials Sciences, Stem Cell Sciences, Physics, Developmental Biology, and Clinical Translation.

When parts of organs are destroyed, it is difficult to completely repair or regenerate. Wounds undergo fibrosis because of intense inflammatory reactions, eventually settling down, hardening or scarring. This research field is interested in the study of the mechanisms underlying fibrosis in various organs and the research and development of fibrosis control technologies for therapeutic purposes. This type of breakthrough will tremendously impact public health and the lives of those with amputations due to bone cancer, diabetes, dangerous infections, trauma accidents, or even children born with missing or impaired limbs.

Dr. Cato Laurencin and the Connecticut Convergence Institute team have conducted many journals, studies, and articles. You can find the latest publications and journals on the website:



UConn JUMP St. Lucia Partnership and Dr. Cato Laurencin Honored

The Connecticut Convergence Institute had a historical meeting last Thursday and Friday. The purpose of the meeting was to establish and discuss the Just Us Moving Program (JUMP) in St. Lucia. Dr. Cato T. Laurencin met with His Excellency Julian Dubois the Ambassador for Diaspora Affairs, Honorary Philip J. Pierre the Prime Minister, and Prisca Regis-Andrew the Dean, Department the Health, Wellness and Human Performance: Sir Arthur Lewis Community College.  He also had the honor of having his UNESCO Africa Prize Award at the entrance which is now prominently displayed at the college entrance.

The JUMP meeting was successful because many health issues were discussed. In the last three decades, the dietary habits in Saint Lucia have been westernized and shifted from fruits and vegetables to a high-calorie-dense diet processed with refined sugar, sodium, and saturated fat. These ultra-processed foods lead to low nutritional quality and severe adverse health consequences. This has caused a rise in non-communicable diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. The Convergence Institutes’ JUMP team came up with innovative strategies and a more significant commitment to eliminate disparities within the communities and food system in Saint Lucia.

Thus, the pandemic has brought even more urgency to transitioning from processed, high-quantity, low-quality foods to wholesome nutrition based on fresh produce and whole foods. This partnership with Saint Lucia has launched ‘UConn JUMP Saint Lucia’ to educate Saint Lucian communities. This will provide more control over their food system, opportunities for families and youth to establish new eating habits, and, ultimately, a more just and fair food system. This initiative will improve the quality of life for the Saint Lucian population.

Based on the community health promotion experiences and successes in the UConn JUMP program in the United States, they advised a plan to partner with various community organizations. This includes non-profits and churches to reach the disfranchised communities in need, including youth, adults and seniors, and families.

Stephanie Chinwo, YIIP Scholar, received the 2022 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research Young Investigator Award

Stephanie Chinwo received the 2022 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) Young Investigator Award for her abstract presentation Molecular Analysis of AMBRA1 as a Candidate Tumor Suppressor in Sporadic Parathyroid Adenomas. She accepted a commemorative plaque and honorarium during an ASMBR President’s Reception at the Annual Meeting held in September 2022 at Austin TX. ASBMR is a professional, scientific and medical society established to bring together clinical and experimental scientists who are involved in the study of bone and mineral metabolism.


First U.S.-Africa Frontiers of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Symposium

The historic inaugural symposium was held on October 12 –14 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Last week Professor Dr. Cato T. Laurencin had the honor of opening the First U.S.-Africa Frontiers of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Symposium in Nairobi, Kenya.

Laurencin served as a distinguished member of the oversight committee for the symposium and represented the United States at the meeting.

“This is a project I have been committed to for a number of years and it is wonderful to see this occur. I want to thank and congratulate Dr. Felix Dakora  (African Academy of Sciences) and Dr. John Hildebrand (National Academy of Sciences) for their leadership,”  stated Laurencin.

This inaugural symposium was held on October 12 – 14, and was a partnership between The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) and the African Academy of Sciences (AAS).

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Dr. Ezra Griffith, awarded at NMA meeting

Dr. Ezra Griffith of Yale University was honored with the Cato T. Laurencin M.D., Ph.D. Lifetime Research Award at the opening ceremonies of the 2022 National Medical Association (NMA)  national meeting.

This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated more than 20 years of consistent, long-lasting contributions to benefit African Americans and to reduce health disparities through recognized research and inquiry. The individual may be a physician, a career researcher or a distinguished educator who has enhanced the field of research and made it possible for young researchers to be successful.

Cato T. Laurencin has dedicated his life to excellence in research, teaching, surgery, mentoring, and community service. Dr. Laurencin has had a prolific career in science, but also in service to his community and certainly in service to the NMA.

Read the full article here:EG-Cato-T-Laurencin-MD-PhD-lifetime-research-award-Press Release (002)


Dr. Cato Laurencin becomes an elected member of Academia Europaea

Dr. Cato Laurencin, University Professor, the University of Connecticut was recently elected for truly outstanding work. He was welcomed to the Division of Materials Science of the European Academy of Sciences. Professor Laurencin is a highly distinguished scholar, widely decorated and a member of numerous major Academies throughout the world. He is considered the founder of the field of Regenerative Engineering. He is also a practicing surgeon.
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Dr. Laurencin is featured on page 10.

Please see the full article here