Cato T. Laurencin M.D., Ph.D. has dedicated his life to excellence in research, teaching, surgery, mentoring and to national and international scientific leadership. Dr. Laurencin has had a prolific career in science, but also in service to his community and certainly in service to the National Medical Association. He has been the vision and the strength of the W. Montague Cobb/NMA Health Institute since the launch of the Institute in 2004. He has served as Speaker of the House of Delegates of the National Medical Association, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Orthopedics at the University of Virginia and in 2008, he was named the Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine and the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Chair in Academic Medicine and Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Chemical, Materials and Biomolecular Engineering at The University of Connecticut.
Throughout his busy schedule and many commitments, Dr. Laurencin continues to perform active research and has a host of mentees who have excelled in research and orthopedic surgery and themselves now serve in prestigious faculty positions across the United States.
The first recipient of the Cato Laurencin M.D., Ph.D. Lifetime Research Award is Jane Cooke Wright M.D., who in 1971,became professor of surgery, head of the cancer chemotherapy department, and associate dean at New York Medical College, and by 1967 she was the highest ranked African American woman at a nationally recognized medical institution. She is recognized as a pioneer in the field of Oncology. During her distinguished career, she was very active in cancer research. Dr. Wright analyzed a wide range of anti-cancer agents, explored the relationship between patient and tissue culture response, and developed new techniques for administering cancer chemotherapy.
The Cato T. Laurencin M.D., Ph.D. Lifetime Research Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated more than 20 years of consistent, long-lasting contributions to benefit African Americans and to reduce heath disparities through recognized research and inquiry. The individual may be a physician, a career researcher or a distinguished educator who has enhanced the field of research and made it possible for young researchers to be successful.
The Award will be given during the NMA Annual Conference and Scientific Assembly during the Cobb Lectureship and Symposium. It will be presented personally by Dr. Laurencin whenever that is possible.
The Board of Directors of the W. Montague Cobb/NMA Health Institute will vote for the recipient from among the nominations provided after review of the letter of recommendation and the curriculum vitae submitted for each nominee. Nominations will be accepted from the Cobb Institute Staff through the Executive Director as well as from Advisory Board Members, members of the Board of Directors of the Cobb Institute and from any member of the National Medical Association.