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Bioengineering honors awarded to medical dean, orthopaedist

by Chris DeFrancesco - March 16, 2009


Two Health Center leaders have been recognized by the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, vice president for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.
Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, vice president for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. Photo by Lanny Nagler

Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, the Health Center’s vice president for health affairs and dean of the UConn School of Medicine, received the AIMBE’s highest honor, the Pierre Galletti Award; and Dr. Jay R. Lieberman, director of the New England Musculoskeletal Institute, was inducted into the AIMBE College of Fellows.

The Galletti Award recognizes contributions to public awareness of medical and biological engineering and to promoting the national interest in science, engineering, and education.

The AIMBE cites Laurencin’s “seminal contribution to tissue engineering and international leadership in biomedical engineering.”

National prominence
Laurencin has achieved national prominence as a bioengineering expert and orthopaedic surgeon. He holds the Health Center’s Van Dusen Endowed Chair in Academic Medicine and is a professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

He also holds an appointment in the School of Engineering as a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering.

Laurencin says the award is a tribute to those instrumental in his success in the field: his Ph.D. adviser and lifelong mentor Dr. Robert Langer, his students, and his family.

Laurencin was recognized last year by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers as among “100 Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era.”

Lieberman, professor and chairman of the Health Center’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, was nominated for “significant and sustained contributions to understanding the biology of arthroplasty implants, and for innovative strategies for bone regeneration using gene therapy and materials science.”

Dr. Jay Lieberman, director of the Health Center’s New England Musculoskeletal Institute.
Dr. Jay Lieberman, director of the Health Center’s New England Musculoskeletal Institute. Photo by Janine Gelineau

Top 2 percent
The honor puts Lieberman in the top 2 percent of medical and biological engineers, including distinguished professors, researchers, and heads of engineering and medical schools at major universities, as well as entrepreneurs, directors of research and development, and corporate leaders.

“Dr. Lieberman has been and continues to be a major contributor to the advancement of the science of biomedical engineering,” says Laurencin, himself an AIMBE fellow.

“The work being done in his lab, as well as the translational research taking place at the New England Musculoskeletal Institute under his leadership, is of unquestionable benefit to the patients of today and tomorrow.”

The AIMBE aims to establish a clear identity for medical and biological engineering by promoting awareness of the field and its contributions, promoting the national interest in science, working with government and professional groups, brokering intersociety relations and cooperation within the field, and recognizing achievements and contributions to medical and biological engineering.

The College of Fellows is one of four sections of the AIMBE and includes about 1,000 members, mostly from the United States.

UConn faculty previously inducted as Fellows include John Enderle and Bahram Javidi from the School of Engineering and Michael J. Pikal from the School of Pharmacy.

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