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Chair's Distinguished Lecture

cato laurencin

Cato T. Laurencin

University of Connecticut
University Professor and Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor; CEO of the Cato T. Laurencin Institute for Regenerative Engineering

Regenerative Engineering: Chemistry and Materials Science in Regeneration

Monday, April 24, 2023  |  4:00–5:00 p.m. PDT  |  PAA A118


We define the field of Regenerative Engineering as the Convergence of Advanced Materials Science, Stem Cell Science, Physics, Developmental Biology, and Clinical Translation for the regeneration of complex tissues and organ systems. Work in the area of musculoskeletal tissue regeneration has focused on a number of technologies. Polymeric nanofiber systems create the prospect for biomimetics that recapitulate connective tissue ultrastructure allowing for the design of biomechanically functional matrices, and next generation matrices that create a niche for stem cell activity. Polymer and polymer-ceramic systems can be utilized for the regeneration of bone. Through the use of inducerons, small molecules fostering induction, the design of regeneration-inducing materials can be realized. Hybrid matrices possessing micro and nano architecture can create advantageous systems for regeneration, while the use of classic principles of chemistry, materials science, and engineering can lead to the development of three dimensional systems suitable for functional regeneration of tissues. Work in the creation of synthetic artificial stem cells present prospects for joint restoration. Through convergence of a number of technologies, we believe the prospect of engaging future grand challenges is possible.


Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D., earned his B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton; his M.D., magna cum laude, from the Harvard Medical School; and his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology from MIT.

He is the pioneer of the field of regenerative engineering.

In receiving the Spingarn Medal, Dr. Laurencin was named the world’s foremost engineer-physician-scientist. He pioneered the novel use of polymeric biomaterials for treating musculoskeletal conditions. In recognition of his breakthrough achievements, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers created the Cato T. Laurencin Regenerative Engineering Founder’s Award.

Dr. Laurencin’s work spans fundamental science, applied science, and technology translation. He has received the highest honors in all areas including chemistry (Priestley Medal), materials science (Von Hippel Award), biological engineering (Jay Bailey Award), medical and biological engineering (Pierre Galletti Award) and surgery (Nicolas Andry Award).

In science, engineering, medicine, and innovation, he is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He is the first surgeon in history to be elected to all four national academies. Dr. Laurencin received the Philip Hague Abelson Prize, the highest honor of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, for "signal contributions to the advancement of science in the United States" for his work in regenerative engineering. He is the first person to receive both the oldest/highest award from the National Academy of Engineering (the Simon Ramo Founder's Award) and one of the oldest/highest awards of the National Academy of Medicine (the Walsh McDermott Medal). In innovation, Dr. Laurencin was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, America's highest honor for technological advancement, by President Barack Obama in ceremonies at the White House.

Dr. Laurencin is the University Professor and Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor at the University of Connecticut. He is the Chief Executive Officer of the Cato T. Laurencin Institute for Regenerative Engineering at UConn.

Past Lectures

zhenan bao


Zhenan Bao

Stanford University
K.K. Lee Professor and Department Chair in the Department of Chemical Engineering; Courtesy Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Director, Stanford Wearable Electronics Initiative (eWEAR)

Skin-Inspired Organic Electronics

sharon glotzer


Sharon C. Glotzer

University of Michigan
Anthony C. Lembke Department Chair of Chemical Engineering; Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; John W. Cahn Distinguished University Professor of Engineering; Stuart W. Churchill Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering

Engineering Colloidal Matter, Assembly Pathways and the Entropic Bond

gregory stephanopoulos


Gregory Stephanopoulos

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
W. H. Dow Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Engineering Microbes for the Production of Isoprenoid Compounds

sang yup lee


Sang Yup Lee

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Systems Metabolic Engineering for the Production of Chemicals and Materials