The Alan S. Michaels Distinguished Lectureship in Medical and Biological Engineering – 2011

“Regenerative Engineering Paradigms for Musculoskeletal Tissues”


Cato T. Laurencin ’87,
Chemical Engineering & Dean of School of Medicine,
University of Connecticut

Friday, May 6, 2011
3:00 p.m., Building 32-123
Massachusetts Institute of Technology



Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D., a nationally prominent orthopaedic surgeon, bioengineering expert, administrator and professor, is the Vice President for Health Affairs at the University of Connecticut and the seventh dean of the UConn School of Medicine.

He is the Van Dusen Endowed Chair Professor in Academic Medicine and is Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Chemical, Biomolecular and Materials Engineering at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Laurencin is an expert in shoulder and knee surgery and an international leader in tissue engineering research.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the American Surgical Association, and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and has been recognized by America’s Top Doctors and America’s Top Surgeons. He is widely published in scholarly journals and holds more than 20 U.S. patents.

President Obama named Dr. Laurencin a 2009 winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence, awarded to science, math and engineering mentors. Additionally, Dr. Laurencin was recently honored by Scientific American Magazine as one of the top 50 innovators for his groundbreaking technological work in the regeneration of knee tissue. He was also recently named among “100 Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era” by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and is the 2009 winner of the Pierre Galletti Award, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s highest honor.

Dr. Laurencin joined the UConn Health Center from the University of Virginia where he was the Lillian T. Pratt Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, as well as the Orthopaedic Surgeon-in-Chief at the University of Virginia Health System. In addition, he was designated as a University Professor at the University of Virginia, one of the university’s most prestigious titles, and held professorships in Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering.

Prior to his service at the University of Virginia, Dr. Laurencin was at Drexel University, where he served as the Helen I. Moorehead Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, Vice Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Director of Shoulder Surgery at Hahnemann Hospital.

Raised in North Philadelphia, Dr. Laurencin earned his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, where he was a Magna Cum Laude graduate and the recipient of the Robinson Award for Excellence in Surgery. During medical school, he also earned his Ph.D. in biochemical engineering/biotechnology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was a Hugh Hampton Young Scholar.

Upon completing both of his doctoral degrees, Dr. Laurencin joined the Harvard University Orthopaedic Surgery program, ultimately becoming the chief orthopaedic surgery resident at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. He also completed a fellowship in sports medicine and shoulder surgery at Cornell University Medical Center and the prestigious Hospital for Special Surgery, where he worked with the team physicians for the New York Mets and St. John’s University in New York.

Among his national leadership responsibilities, Dr. Laurencin has served as Speaker of the House of the National Medical Association, and currently serves as Chair of the Board of the National Medical Association’s W. Montague Cobb Health Institute. He has been a member of the National Institutes of Health National Advisory Council for Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and the National Science Advisory Board for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He currently sits on the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Directorate Advisory Committee.

In research, he has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the Department of Defense. He has won the prestigious Nicolas Andry Award from the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons for his work in musculoskeletal regeneration.

Dr. Laurencin is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.