Events

Dr. Cato Laurencin Receives Shu Chien Achievement Award

UConn Professor Dr. Cato T. Laurencin was honored last week at the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering (CMBE)  conference. He was awarded the Shu Chien Achievement Award, the most prestigious honor bestowed by the BMES Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering (CMBE) Group. The award recognizes an individual who has made exceptional contributions to the cellular and molecular bioengineering field, and someone who has been a great mentor to others.

Read the full article here: https://today.uconn.edu/2023/01/dr-cato-laurencin-receives-shu-chien-achievement-award/

 

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: https://health.uconn.edu/connecticut-convergence-institute/.

 

 

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.

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).

Read the full article here: https://today.uconn.edu/2022/10/uconns-dr-cato-t-laurencin-participates-in-first-u-s-africa-frontiers-of-science-engineering-and-medicine-symposium/

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)

Science Café on Structural Biology Meets Drug Discovery Finds Great Success

The UConn Partnership for Excellence in Structural Biology held a Science Café on Structural Biology Meets Drug Discovery on September 11, 2017 at the Nathan Hale Inn on the UConn Storrs campus. The Keynote Speaker was Dr. Jonathan Moore, Senior Research Fellow and Vice President of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Boston. Dr. Moore’s insightful remarks focused on the intersection of structural biology and drug discovery and touched on targeting disordered proteins as a new mode of action. Dr. Dennis Wright, of UConn Pharmacy, briefed the group on the PITCH and NPDD academic drug discovery initiatives at UConn. The Science Café attracted a broad cross section of interested faculty as well as administrators, who engaged in a lively discussion of challenges and opportunities.

Regenerative Engineering Science Cafe featured notable panel

The first Regenerative Engineering Science Cafe took place on Thursday, July 6 at local restaurant “Butchers and Bakers” in Farmington to a large crowd. The Cafe panel, facilitated by Paulos Mengsteab, included six exciting leaders in the field who discussed their work and vision in an interactive fashion: Dr. Lakshmi Nair, Dr. Yusef Khan, Dr. Joseph Walker, Dr. Thanh Nguyen, and Dr. David Gardiner. Over 40 people, including students, faculty, researchers, engineers, clinicians, and staff attended the event.

Regenerative Engineering is a new field focusing on the Convergence of Advanced Material Sciences, Stem Cell Science, Physics, Developmental Biology and Clinical Translation for solving next generation challenges in tissue regeneration. This event was sponsored by the Kavli Foundation.

You can view photos from the event in our photo gallery.

Dr. David Gardiner - Regenerative Engineering Science Cafe
Crowd at Regenerative Engineering Science Cafe
Dr. Cato Laurencin - Regnerative Engineering Science Cafe