By: Chris DeFrancesco, UConn School of Medicine and Dental Medicine
To the University Community:
We are excited to announce that with the support of University of Connecticut School of Medicine (SOM), we have created the Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering as a Type 2 Center in the SOM from the merger of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering (IRE) and the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) at UConn.
Regenerative engineering is a new field founded by Professor Cato T. Laurencin. It is described as the convergence of advanced materials sciences, stem cell science, physics, developmental biology, and clinical translation for the regeneration of complex tissues and organ systems. The Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering (The Connecticut Convergence Institute) represents a transdisciplinary effort at UConn with a focus in the musculoskeletal area. The Institute integrates medicine, engineering, surgery, biology, physics, chemistry, and statistics/machine learning to enable a powerful platform for addressing scientific and medical problems in regeneration and healing of complex tissues, organs, or organ systems.
In research, the merged Institute serves as UConn’s home for the DOD Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) and the DOD Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM). The Institute has a broad portfolio of funding from other federal agencies, including the Director’s Pioneer Grant Award from the National Institutes of Health and the Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation Award from the National Science Foundation.
The Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering will continue its leadership in education nationally. From being a research/teaching site for the NIH Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Program and the National Science Foundation’s Research, Education and Mentoring (REM) Program, to the Young Innovative Investigator Program (YIIP), Pre-K Scholar Award Program and M-1 Mentoring Program founded at UConn, to its newly announced partnership with the Aetna Foundation, education and outreach will continue to be a hallmark of its work.
The scientific and educational opportunities being pursued now and in the future at the Connecticut Convergence Institute will enable innovation and problem solving beyond conventional academic boundaries. A core mission of the University of Connecticut is precisely to foster new ways of thinking and new approaches to answers in medicine, science, engineering, and technology. We invite the University community to engage and be a part of the efforts and programs that will continue to emerge from the leadership and staff of the Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering.
Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Connecticut Convergence Institute
Lakshmi Nair, Ph.D., Associate Director, Connecticut Convergence Institute