Month: March 2019

Pain Management Science Cafe a Success

The Convergence Institute recently sponsored a Science Cafe on the topic of Pain Management in Connecticut: Challenges, Innovations & Research on Friday, March 22. With this topic being at the forefront of the news lately, the event was well attended and included a lot of interaction and engagement from the audience, which consisted of pain sufferers, health care providers, social workers, and more.

The Institute welcomed three guest speakers at the event: Dr. Jonathan Kost from Hartford Hospital, Dr. William Shaw from UConn Health, and Dr. William Zempsky from CT Children’s Medical Center. Dr. Reinhard Laubenbacher, Director of the Connecticut Pain Consortium at UConn Health, also spoke about how the Consortium is working with these and other pain experts around the state to bring together data, research, education and pain management in Connecticut.


Dr. Laurencin Speaks About Diversity at AIMBE Annual Event

Dr. Cato Laurencin recently spoke at the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) annual event, which is a conference that combines scientific lectures with public policy discussion. His talk highlighted the importance of black representation in the fields of Medicine, Engineering and Science. Dr. Laurencin has spent a large portion of his career in addressing issues on diversity. He served as Rapporteur for the historic Workshop Proceedings entitled “An American Crisis: The Growing Absence of Black Men in Medicine and Science” and is founding Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. Dr. Laurencin is also dedicated to mentoring underrepresented students in the fields of Medicine, Engineering and Science as well. Learn more about Dr. Cato Laurencin, and AIMBE.

2019 Cato T. Laurencin Travel Fellowships to Be Awarded

The fellowship, presented through the Society for Biomaterials, supports under-represented minority students in the field of biomaterials.

The winners of the Cato T. Laurencin Travel Fellowships will be recognized at the Annual Society for Biomaterials (SFB) meeting in April. Awardees are Kai Clarke of the Florida Institute of Technology and Sydney Wimberley, a Chemical Engineering major here at the University of Connecticut.

Dr. Cato Laurencin, for whom the Fellowship is named, is well known for his commitment to mentoring. Along with membership in the SFB, Kai Clarke and Sydney Wimberley will receive a grant for participation in the SFB Annual Meeting which covers all travel costs. Attending allows students to meet with distinguished and seasoned scientists in the field, hear from state-of-the-art speakers, learn about industry advancements, and also offers networking opportunities for students to discuss potential internships.

These Travel Fellowships are made possible by grants from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, National Institute of Health, and SFB member donations. For more information, visit the Society for Biomaterials website. Read more about the UConn awardee in UConn Today.

CT Convergence Institute Member Wins UConn’s School of Engineering Poster Competition

The CT Convergence Center for Translation in Regenerative Engineering is pleased to announce that a member of our Institute, Leila Daneshmandi (a Ph.D Student from Biomedical Engineering) has earned a 1st place award in the 5th Annual UConn School of Engineering Poster Competition.

The competition, which was open to graduate students from all engineering departments, included two rounds of judging.

In the first round, participants presented to faculty members within their own department and were judged among peers in that department. Leila won first place for the Biomedical Engineering Department based on feedback from judges Dr. Ki Chon (department head) and Dr. Kristin Morgan. For the next round, advancing participants presented to a team of industrial professionals with broad technology entrepreneurship experience.










Leila’s project “PLGA-Graphene Oxide Matrices for Bone Regenerative Engineering” won the first place prize of $1,000 in the final round. Leila Daneshmandi is pictured below with her award presented by Kevin Arpin, Forensic Specialist from Travelers Institute, Kathy Rocha, Managing Director of UConn’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Consortium, and Kevin Bouley, President and CEO of Nerac.


Congratulations to Leila Daneshmandi!

Dr. Laurencin speaks at the Helen I. Moorehead-Laurencin, MD, Sex & Gender Research Forum

Earlier this week, Dr. Cato Laurencin gave opening words at the 2019 Helen I. Moorehead-Laurencin, MD, Sex & Gender Research Forum at Drexel University. The forum is named after Dr. Laurencin’s mother, Dr. Helen I. Moorehead-Laurencin, who practiced medicine in the ground floor of her home in North Philadelphia for almost 45 years, and was one of the few women to receive a medical degree during her time. The forum is an interactive program that highlights Drexel’s multidisciplinary research focused on sex and gender in a local, national, and global context. The forum included prominent keynote speakers who addressed current sex and gender issues, including Lynn Paltrow, JD, who is the founder and executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, and is pictured below with Dr. Laurencin.

March Science Cafe: Pain Management

March Science Cafe: Pain Management in Connecticut: Challenges, Innovations & Research

The Connecticut Convergence Institute hosts science cafes, with the support of the Kavli Foundation, on various scientific topics. Our science cafe series aims to bring science to members of the community in an engaging and informal way.

At this Science Cafe several Connecticut- based pain experts will discuss research findings related to pain management, chronicity and treatment.

There will be plenty of time for audience questions and participation, as our Science Cafes are geared towards creating discussion with attendees. This event is FREE and open to everyone interested in the topic.

When: Friday, March 22, 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Where: Costa Del Sol Restaurant, 901 Wethersfield Ave, Hartford, CT

RSVP: Please use this link to RSVP for this science cafe.

Deadline to RSVP is Tuesday, 3/19/19.

For questions please contact