Cato T. Laurencin M.D., Ph.D. Lifetime Research Award

Criteria for the Laurencin Award


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.

General Criteria for the Award

Who May Receive the Award?

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.

When is the Award Given? 

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.

How is the Awardee Nominated?

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.