Author: Rachel F King

Regrowing Amputated Limbs Is Getting Closer to Medical Reality

Dr. Laurencin was recently featured in Leaps Magazine where he spoke about The Hartford Engineering A Limb (HEAL) project aiming to regenerate/grow an entire human limb by 2030.


As a surgeon-scientist and pioneer in the field of regenerative engineering, Dr. Laurencin’s laboratory research successes already include the growth of bone and knee ligaments. HEAL hopes to help wounded warriors as well as others who have lost limbs or experienced nerve damage. Such as those with amputations or even children born with missing or impaired limbs. Laurencin’s international grand research challenge of his Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering at UConn Health is a collaboration with top regenerative engineers at UConn, The University of California Irvine, professors at Harvard University, Columbia University, and Sastra University in India. The HEAL project is further supported by the work of dedicated multidisciplinary teams of research fellows, scientists and clinicians. The project is supported by Laurencin’s large grants from the NIH’s Pioneer Award and the National Science Foundation for Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation. “The HEAL Project is a transformative moment for science and medicine,” says Laurencin about the first international effort ever for knee and limb engineering.


Read the full story here: Regrowing Limbs is Getting Closer to Medical Medical Reality


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)

The CT Convergence Institute Attends and Supports YMCA Celebrates Champions Gala


This year’s YMCA Celebrates Champions event featured honored guests and speakers Rebecca Lobo, NCAA National Champion, Olympic gold medalist, WNBA all-star and hall of famer; Steve Rushin, author of five non-fiction books and a novel, columnist and feature writer for Sports Illustrated; and Kevin Washington, YMCA of the USA President and CEO.

Over the past decade, the Wilson-Gray YMCA Youth & Family Center has evolved into a beacon for a brighter future for youth and families. Annually, it engages nearly 4,000 active members, over 500 children in summer camp and after-school programs, and close to 300 youth in leadership development programs. Funds raised from the Champions event will support the Wilson-Gray YMCA community today, for the next 10 years, and beyond.

The Connecticut Convergence Institute values the Y as a partner in providing innovative and life-changing programs.

Dr. Laurencin inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Society

The UConn School of Medicine community gathered together on April 24 to celebrate the inaugural class of fourth-year medical students elected to its new Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society (AΩA) chapter. UConn faculty and medical residents also elected to join AΩA were honored.

As the 130th active chapter, UConn joins medical schools throughout the U.S. in the society recognizing and promoting the highest ideals of medicine. Member election to AΩA chapter is an honor that signifies excellence and commitment to scholarship, leadership, professionalism, and service.

The roots of UConn’s new Connecticut Beta chapter was first established in 2016. It is only the second chapter to be established in the state since Yale School of Medicine’s Alpha chapter was founded in 1920.

As an active AΩA chapter, each year UConn School of Medicine can nominate the top 25 percent of its medical school class to become members of the professional medical organization within their senior year. Of that 25 percent, up to 16 percent of the total medical school class may be elected into the society.

Elected members of the inaugural chapter class include:

Class of 2019 medical students

  • Alexis Cordone
  • Madeline Coulter
  • Brett Diamond
  • Jeremy Grenier
  • Laura Hatchman
  • Austen Katz
  • Ardian Latifi
  • Julianna Lau
  • Rebecca Maher
  • Lisa O’Donovan
  • Roshni Patel
  • Mary Soyster
  • Ishan Tatake
  • Kristin Torre
  • Katelyn Wong


  • Sarah Lopez, family medicine
  • Christian Mosebach, internal medicine
  • Prateek Shukla, primary care
  • Jessica Tuan, internal medicine


  • Cato T. Laurencin, University Professor at UConn, the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at UConn School of Medicine, and director of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering and The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical, Biological, Physical, and Engineering Sciences at UConn Health
  • Edwin L. Zalneraitis, professor of pediatrics and neurology and director of the pediatric residency program at UConn School of Medicine and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

Alpha Omega Alpha was founded in 1902 by a small group of medical students led by William Webster Root at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Chicago. Its premier membership has included 57 Nobel Laureates, 11 Surgeons General of the U.S. and nearly seventy-five percent of deans of U.S. medical schools. Since its founding, AΩA has elected more than 185,000 members worldwide.

The mission of AΩA is dedicated to the belief that the profession of medicine will improve care for all patients by recognizing high educational achievement, honoring gifted teaching, encouraging the development of leaders in academia and the community, supporting the ideals of humanism and promoting service to others.

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.