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Cato Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. - University of Connecticut. Storrs, CT, US

Cato Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. Cato Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.

Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Chair Professor of Orthopedic Surgery in the School of Medicine | University of Connecticut


Dr. Laurencin focuses on tissue engineering, biomaterials science, nanotechnology, and stem cell science in regenerative engineering


Dr. Laurencin is a designated University Professor at the University of Connecticut. He is the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Chair Professor of Orthopedic Surgery in the School of Medicine. In addition, Dr. Laurencin is a tenured member of the faculty in the School of Engineering and is Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Professor of Materials Engineering and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at UConn. Dr. Laurencin serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, UConn’s cross-university translational science institute. In addition, he is the Founding Director of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering and the Founding Director of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical, Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences at UConn Health.

Dr. Laurencin is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Dr. Laurencin previously served as the UConn Health Center’s Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the UConn School of Medicine. Prior to that Dr. Laurencin was the Lillian T. Pratt Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Virginia, as well as the Orthopedic Surgeon-in-Chief at the University of Virginia Health System. In addition, he was designated as a University Professor at the University of Virginia by the President and held professorships in biomedical engineering and chemical engineering.

Dr. Laurencin earned his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University and his medical degree, Magna Cum Laude from the Harvard Medical School. During medical school, he also earned his Ph.D. in biochemical engineering/biotechnology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Laurencin’s research involves tissue engineering, biomaterials science, nanotechnology and stem cell science and a new field he terms, regenerative engineering. He is an International Fellow in Biomaterials Science and Engineering and a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and a Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society. His work was honored by Scientific American Magazine as one of the 50 greatest achievements in science in 2007.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Biomaterials Surgery Shoulder and Knee Injuries Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Nanotechnology

Education (3)

MIT: Ph.D., Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology 1987

Harvard Medical School: M.D., Medicine 1987

Princeton University: B.S.E., Chemical Engineering 1980






Musculoskeletal regenerative engineering: Cato Laurencin at TEDxUConn 2013 Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship 2016: Cato T. Laurencin Dr. Cato Laurencin Profiled for Black History Month


Media Appearances (7)

Leaders Address Shortage of Black Men in Medical Profession

Diverse Issues in Higher Education  online


The two-day National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine workshop titled, “The Growing Absence of Black Men in Medicine and Science: An American Crisis,” convened on Monday and Tuesday to address low Black male enrollment in American medical schools. "Hopefully we can come up with things that are brave and bold,” said Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, a distinguished professor at the University of Connecticut and chair of the planning committee for the workshop.

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Stem Cell Research Advancing Rapidly

Healthline  online

Some researchers in the industry are somewhat measured in their optimism of the technology’s human applications. “I want to make sure that we provide a real cautionary note, especially to those individuals and those institutions that tout stem cells as the panacea for any ill,” Dr. Cato Laurencin, director of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering at the University of Connecticut, told Healthline.

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Asking After The Future At The World Frontiers Forum

Fast Company  print

Here’s a sample of what the view into that future looked like.

Cato Laurencin, professor, University of Connecticut, orthopedic surgeon, limb regeneration pioneer. “We can create these systems for regeneration that really depend upon the convergence of science, technology, advanced materials, ceramics . . . We’ve actually created almost all the different tissues of the musculoskeletal area. We can create bone, cartilage, tendon, ligament, nerve . . . What’s next? Where can you take this? There are 185,000 Americans undergoing amputation each year . . . There really is a pressing need.

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Olympic swimmer Jason Lezak makes a splash for stem cell research

STAT  print

Scientists seeking $4.5 million to study a new kind of stem cell therapy for tendon and ligament injuries find out on Wednesday if their proposal will receive funding, and they’ve got an unlikely cheerleader standing on the sidelines: US Olympic gold medalist swimmer Jason Lezak. Lezak, who has won four gold medals in the Olympics, penned one of three published letters of support for the grant application, joining the likes of orthopedic surgeons Dr. Cato Laurencin of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Dr. Brett Owens of Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School. (The identity of the grant applicant has not been made public.)

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President Obama Honors Outstanding Teachers and Mentors at White House

National Science Foundation  online

On Jan. 6, President Barack Obama honored educators, including UConn Health's Cato Laurencin, from across the country with awards for excellence in mathematics and science teaching and mentoring in his second "Educate to Innovate" campaign event for excellence in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The event was held in the White House East Room.

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Cato Laurencin Recognized by National Geographic

AIChE  online

Cato T. Laurencin, director of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering at the Univ. of Connecticut Health Center, has been recognized by National Geographic in a special issue of its magazine devoted to “100 Scientific Discoveries that Changed the World.” Laurencin, who is also chief executive officer of the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, and the Van Dusen Endowed Chair in Orthopaedic Surgery, was cited for his research breakthroughs that may revolutionize the treatment of tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) — one of the most common knee injuries.

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Bioengineered ACL Could Help Injured Knees

Washington Post  online

A new bioengineered anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) replacement could provide a new treatment option for the more than 200,000 Americans who rupture their ACLs annually, U.S. researchers report this week. "We're hoping that we can have this as a solution for patients within the next three years," said study lead researcher Dr. Cato Laurencin.

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Articles (2)

Biomimetic, bioactive etheric polyphosphazene-poly(lactide-co-glycolide) blends for bone tissue engineering Journal of Biomedical Materials Research

Meng Deng, Cato Laurencin, et al.


The long-term goal of this work is to develop biomimetic polymer-based systems for bone regeneration that both allow for neutral pH degradation products and have the ability to nucleate bonelike apatite. In this study, the etheric biodegradable polyphosphazene, poly[(50%ethyl glycinato)(50%methoxyethoxyethoxy)phosphazene] (PNEG50MEEP50) was blended with poly(lactide-co-glycolide) PLAGA and studied their ability to produce high-strength degradable biomaterials with bioactivity...

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Biodegradable Polyphosphazene-Nanohydroxyapatite Composite Nanofibers: Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology

Subhabrata Bhattacharyya, Cato Laurencin, et al.


Bone is a natural composite comprised of hierarchically arranged collagen fibrils, hydroxyapatite and proteoglycans in the nanometer scale. This preliminary study reports the fabrication of biodegradable poly[bis(ethyl alanato)phosphazene]-nanohydroxyapatite (PNEA-nHAp) composite nanofiber matrices via electrospinning. Binary solvent compositions of THF and ethanol were used as a spinning solvent to attain better nanohydroxyapatite dispersibility in PNEA solution...

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