Cato T. Laurencin
Cato T. Laurencin

The recipient of the 2020 Acta Biomaterialia Gold Medal is Professor Cato T. Laurencin of the University of Connecticut. An engineer, surgeon and scientist, Prof. Laurencin earned his B.S.E. degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University. He earned his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was named a Hugh Hampton Young Fellow, and earned his M.D., Magna Cum Laude, from the Harvard Medical School where he also received the Robinson Award for Surgery.

Prof. Laurencin serves as a University Professor at the University of Connecticut (the highest academic title and the 8th in the institution’s over 135-year history). He is a Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering, and is the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery.  He is also a Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering.

Prof. Laurencin is known as a world leader in biomaterials, nanotechnology, stem cell science, drug delivery systems, and a new field that he has pioneered, regenerative engineering. Prof. Laurencin has produced seminal studies in a number of areas of biomaterials. He and his colleagues were the first to develop nanofiber technologies for tissue regeneration. The seminal paper appeared on the cover of the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, in its “Top 25 Biomaterials Papers of the Past 50 Years” edition. His group pioneered the development of polymer-ceramic systems for bone regeneration. The American Institute of Chemical Engineers cited this achievement in naming him one of the 100 Engineers of the Modern Era. He has received the Clemson Award for Contributions to the Biomaterials Literature, and the Founder’s Award, both from the Society for Biomaterials.

Prof. Laurencin’s work has had tremendous impact on many fields.  The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering awarded him the Pierre Galletti Award, medical and biological engineering’s highest honor, while the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons awarded him the Nicolas Andry Award, its highest honor. His work was honored by the Scientific American Magazine as one of the 50 greatest achievements in science in 2007. In 2012, his work was highlighted by the National Geographic Magazine in its “100 Discoveries That Have Changed Our World” edition.  In 2019, the American Association for the Advancement of Science awarded the Philip Hauge Abelson Prize, given for “signal contributions to the advancement of science in the United States”, to Prof. Laurencin.

Prof. Laurencin has had two awards named in his honor: The Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. Travel Fellowship Award given by the Society for Biomaterials, and The Cato T. Laurencin Lifetime Research Achievement Award given by the Cobb/National Medical Association Health Institute.

Prof. Laurencin is the recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. It is the highest honor bestowed in the United States for technological achievement.

Prof. Laurencin is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering and an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine. Internationally, he is an elected Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, a Fellow (Foreign) of the National Academy of Sciences of India, the Indian National Academy of Engineering and The World Academy of Sciences. Prof. Laurencin is an Academician and elected member (Foreign) of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Prof. Laurencin will receive his Acta Biomaterialia Gold Medal at the 11th World Biomaterials Congress to be held in Glasgow (UK) in May, 2020.