News and Info

The Cato T. Laurencin Institute Launched at UConn

Dr. Cato Laurencin
A celebratory reception for the new Laurencin Institute was held on February 24 at UConn School of Medicine in Farmington.

We are excited to announce a new institute. It is entitled The Cato T. Laurencin Institute for Regenerative Engineering. “This initiative is only one of the countless number of Dr. Laurencin’s contributions to the development of science and engineering”, says Provost Anne D’Alleva.

Regenerative engineering is a field founded by Professor Cato T. Laurencin. It is described as the convergence of advanced materials sciences, stems cell science, physics, developmental biology, and clinical translation for the regeneration of complex tissues and organ systems. The Cato T. Laurencin Institute for Regenerative Engineering represents a transdisciplinary effort at UConn with a focus on the musculoskeletal area. The Institute integrates medicine, engineering, surgery, biology, physics, chemistry, and statistics/machine learning to enable a powerful platform for addressing scientific and medical problems in the regeneration and healing of complex tissues, organs, or organ systems.

The Cato T. Laurencin Institute of Regenerative Engineering holds to the pillars developed for the first Cato T. Laurencin Institute, namely:

Excellence in Science

Anti-Racism and Justice

Sponsorship and Mentorship

International, National, and Community Action

Transformative Technologies for Humanity

Economic Value Creation

In addition to this endeavor, Dr. Laurencin has created a ground-breaking project. It is entitled, Cato T. Laurencin Innovative Convergence Ventures (CTLICV). The CTLICV invests in next-generation companies based on innovative research conducted created within the Institute and its collaborating partners across UConn and greater university and corporate communities. We seek strong co-investor syndicates to develop products across a range of categories including regenerative engineering, drugs, devices, diagnostics, and digital health. The intent is to fast-track innovative research from bench to bed, with measurable impact on public health, quality of life, reducing societal disparity, and economic development.

CTLICV’s investments are directed at the seed and Series A stages, where it attracts capital and talent into the most difficult-to-fund phase of company development. When we invest, we expect to support each portfolio company through its entire financing lifecycle. We leverage the portfolio investment activity and internal/external relationships to further the mission vision and values of the Institute. Additionally, the fund taps into our experience in starting and growing companies, our expertise in the medical industry, and our network of scientific and business talent to build great companies.

The scientific and educational opportunities being pursued now and in the future at UConn will enable innovation and problem-solving beyond conventional academic boundaries. A core mission of UConn is precisely to foster new ways of thinking and new approaches to answers in medicine, science, engineering, and technology. We invite you to engage with us as we continue our work here at UConn.

The Cato T. Laurencin Institute for Regenerative Engineering
New Institute Logo

New T32 Doctoral Training Program in Regenerative Engineering

Application Open for New T32 Doctoral Training Program in Regenerative Engineering

The Connecticut Convergence Institute has been awarded the T32 Program Grant Regenerative Engineering of Musculoskeletal Tissues: A Convergence Doctoral Training Program by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS, AR079114). This T32 Program aims to educate, support and enhance the training of individuals dedicated to careers as independent translational and basic scientists in regenerative engineering. The program offers inter-disciplinary research training at UConn Health and UConn Storrs combining the fields of biomedical science and engineering.


Trainees will be selected from current UConn graduate students at UConn Health and UConn Storrs who have completed their first year of graduate studies. The T32 Program will offer trainees a broad level of expertise in research and instruction based on the research and educational experiences of the biomedical and engineering faculty who serve as preceptors. Trainees will become experts in regenerative engineering and its foundations to work towards the alleviation of human disease and musculoskeletal injuries by means of tissue regeneration. The Program strengths include its interdisciplinary and collaborative research in biomedical science and engineering, interactions with diverse trainees and faculty, training in contemporary research methodologies, and experienced preceptors.


All applicants must:

  • Be a citizen or Permanent Resident of the United States.
  • Be current UConn Health or UConn Storrs graduate student who has completed their first year of PhD studies.
  • Demonstrate high motivation and potential to become a basic, clinical or translational scientist with an interest in the field of Regeneration.
  • Have a high probability of fulfilling the educational goals of this program.

APPLICATION PROCESS [Submission Deadline: July 21, 2021]

  • Applicants will request an application package directly by email to Lana Angelo at
  • Application Documents
    1. Predoctoral Biosketch: This is the key document to be used for this application. Follow the directions provided in the Applicant Predoctoral Biosketch Guidance Document. (Failure to complete all sections of the biosketch will result in disqualification.)
    2. Letter of Recommendation: The letter must be from a current UConn Health or UConn Storrs faculty member with whom the applicant has worked closely in their first year of doctoral program research. A recommendation from a lab rotation mentor, major advisor, or advisory committee member is suggested.
  • Applicants will submit their application package directly by email to Lana Angelo at


For more information, contact Lana Angelo, Educational Programs Manager, at

CICATS Core Interest Group Hosts Science Café

By Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.

The UConn Partnership for Excellence in Structural Biology held “Structural Biology Meets Drug Discovery” on September 11 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 on the intersection of structural biology and drug discovery also touched on targeting disordered proteins as a new mode of action. Dr. Dennis Wright of UConn Pharmacy briefed attendees on the PITCH and NPDD academic drug-discovery initiatives at UConn. The Science Café attracted a broad cross section of interested faculty and administrators who engaged in a lively discussion of challenges and opportunities.

CICATS Core Interest Group Hosts Science Cafe

CICATS Core Interest Group Hosts Science Cafe

CICATS Core Interest Group Hosts Science Cafe

Annual Laurencin Labs Dinner

By Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.

Laurencin Labs Annual Dinner 2016On Friday, July 22, the Institute for Regenerative Engineering held our 29th Annual Laurencin Labs dinner at the Hartford Golf Club in West Hartford. Over 60 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty members attended. Also attending were the local high-school and college students who are spending part of their summers in the lab. The evening celebrated the outstanding research conducted in our laboratory during 2016 and included a discussion of the work planned for 2017.

Thank you to those who helped make this the dinner meeting so successful.

The Stan Simpson Show with Dr. Linda Barry

By Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.

On April 16, Dr. Linda Barry, assistant director of CICATS, was invited to Fox 61 Hartford’s “Stan Simpson Show.” During the interview, Dr. Barry discussed CICATS’ novel Young Innovative Investigator Program (YIIP) which increases diversity among the next generation of doctors and scientists. She also mentioned YIIP’s program for biomedical scientists, stressing the need for more students of color to pursue research to cure diseases rooted in the Black community. Thank you to UConn Health Communications and Kate Hayden for working to arrange such a great interview.

Watch the Video


I am very honored to have been featured in “Grow Your Own” in the December 2015 issue of Prism magazine. I had the pleasure of discussing the HEAL Project with Prism’s team. Please check out the article at

Prism is the American Society for Engineering Education’s award-winning publication. The popular magazine covers engineering in higher education throughout the United States. The magazine is read reaches engineering faculty members, administrators, and students in all disciplines of engineering. Thank you to Mary Lord, the deputy editor of Prism as well as Prism’s editorial team for featuring me.

The HEAL Project Discussion on “The Stan Simpson Show”

Dr. Cato Laurencin and Stan SimpsonLast month, Stan Simpson, host of “The Stan Simpson Show” on Fox CT, invited me to be a guest on his show for the second time. During the interview, I explained our current research initiative named “Hartford Engineering A Limb” (HEAL) at the Institute for Regenerative Engineering. The project’s goal is to regenerate a human knee in seven years and a whole limb in fifteen. The field of regenerative engineering is still in its infancy, and through the HEAL project, we are hoping to utilize this new approach to bring life-changing breakthroughs to patients. The interview can be seen on the web, please visit the following link:

Chinese Academy of Engineering

I am one of a select group of engineers from around the world to have been elected a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), one of the most prestigious academic institutions in China. A CAE academician title is the highest Chinese academic achievement in Engineering and Technology and a lifelong honor. The induction ceremony will be held in Beijing in June 2016. I am extremely honored to join these distinguished scholars. It will inspire me to make more contributions in science and engineering in the years to come.

Renowned Inventor Dean Kamen Visits UConn

On November 7, Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway PT, visited UConn for the first time. He delivered the Lawrence G. Raisz, M.D. Lectureship, an event hosted by the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) and UConn School of Engineering in the Student Union of the Storrs campus. Over 300 people, including students, faculty, researchers, public officials and community-based organizations attended. In his keynote entitled “Innovation: Past, Present and Future”, Dean urged the young people present to keep following their dreams and shared an overview of projects he and his engineers at DEKA Research have been working on. He also discussed FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a program for students to get them interested in science, technology, and engineering he and his partners started in 1989 and continue supporting today.

In addition to the Segway, Dean invented the iBOT all-terrain wheelchair as well as several biomedical devices. He has also developed a water purification system he hopes will help improve living standards in developing countries He has received the U.S. Medal of Technology and the ASME Medal, the American Society of Mechanical Engineer’s highest honor. Dean holds more than 440 U.S. and foreign patents.

As the CEO of CICATS, I thank everyone at CICATS for their hard work organizing Dean’s visit over the past months. I also thank the School of Engineering at UConn Storrs for co-hosting this event.

AESA Launch in Kenya

Dr. Cato LaurencinIn March, 2015, the African Union supported the establishment of the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) under the leadership of the African Academy of Sciences and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development. AESA  will help drive Africa’s research agenda and build scientific capacity across the continent. The Wellcome Trust, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the UK Department for International Development are funding the development of AESA and sharing their vision of supporting the next generation of African researchers who will help solve some of the continent’s greatest health and development challenges.

In early September, I was honored to receive an invitation to attend the AESA launch in Nairobi. I delivered a speech during which I read a letter from Dr. Francis Collins, the Director of NIH, in support of AESA. As a African-American, I am very proud Africa will play a key role in building a world-class scientific and programmatic unit.