Split photo of Kyriacos Athanasiou and Cato Laurencin


Regenerative Engineering Pioneers to Receive Honorary Degrees at 2024 Commencement

April 16, 2024

Pictured from left: Kyriacos A. Athanasiou and Cato T. Laurencin

Kyriacos A. Athanasiou, Ph.D. (B.S. ’84), Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the Henry Samueli Endowed Chair at University of California, Irvine, and Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D., the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and professor of chemical engineering, materials science and engineering, and biomedical engineering at the University of Connecticut, will receive honorary degrees at New York Tech’s 63rd commencement on Sunday, May 19, at the university’s Long Island campus.  

Both honorees will receive a Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) for their significant and ongoing contributions to science and engineering. Following the conferral of degrees, Athanasiou will deliver the keynote address to the Class of 2024. Laurencin will deliver the keynote address later that day to graduates of the College of Osteopathic Medicine during its hooding and commencement. 

“We are honored to have two such distinguished researchers inspire New York Tech’s Class of 2024,” says President Hank Foley, Ph.D. “Drs. Laurencin and Athanasiou are both at the nexus of biology and engineering, pushing new frontiers in science and medicine. Their impressive record of research epitomizes New York Tech’s culture of doers, makers, and innovators.”

Two members of the Class of 2024 will assist in the hooding of the honorary degree recipients: Queens, N.Y.-native Zeiad Kawy, a health sciences major and student orator who will address the Class of 2024 during the commencement ceremony, and Roslyn Paul, a biology major from Dix Hills, N.Y.

Kyriacos A. Athanasiou

Kyriacos A. Athanasiou’s research seeks to develop a fundamental understanding of the cellular, biochemical, and biomechanical characteristics of cartilages, knee meniscus, facet joints, nose, and TMJ, and to use this information to develop rational and novel approaches for tissue engineering and regeneration. His research group is the first to demonstrate cartilage engineering using human embryonic stem cells, and his trailblazing work in biomedical engineering is recognized by his election to the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Inventors.

His established bioengineering research group, specializing in the tissues of the musculoskeletal system with particular emphasis on the various cartilages, has published 388 peer-reviewed articles, 364 conference proceedings and abstracts, 21 books, and 38 U.S. patents (including three trademarks), achieving deep and sustained impacts in musculoskeletal bioengineering, stem cell bioengineering, and biomechanics, as they relate to tissue engineering.

Cato T. Laurencin

Cato Laurencin is one of only two faculty at the University of Connecticut distinguished with the title of university professor. He also is the chief executive officer of The Cato T. Laurencin Institute for Regenerative Engineering. Named to America’s Top Doctors for 20 years and named a Connecticut Top Doctor and Connecticut Healthcare Hero by Connecticut Magazine, he is an awarded orthopaedic surgeon, a pioneer in the field of regenerative engineering, and an expert in biomaterials science, stem cell technology, biophysics, and nanotechnology. In receiving the Spingarn Medal from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, he was named as the world’s foremost engineer-physician-scientist. He is also an inventor and was named Inventor of the Year by the Intellectual Property Owners Foundation. He is the recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, America’s highest honor for technical achievement, awarded by President Barack Obama.

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