On February 10, 2020, during a side-event to the 33rd African Union Summit, Professors Cato T. Laurencin, Youyou Tu, and Kevin McGuigan received the 2019 UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences.
Three heads of State chaired the ceremony that took place at the Nelson Mandela Hall of the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa: Presidents Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, Ibrahim Boubakar Keita of Mali, and Ismael Omar Guelleh of Djibouti. Mrs. Audrey Azoulay, the UNESCO General Director, and the Equatorial Guinean Agapito Mba Mokuy, former foreign affairs minister in his country and the current UNESCO board chair, were also present, among an audience of dignitaries, scholars, and diplomats.
An African American, Prof. Cato T. Laurencin was honored for his works in diverse fields, of which biomaterials, nanotechnology, stem cell science, drug delivery system. He is also a world leader in a new field: regenerative engineering.
Currently, his laboratory are located at the Connecticut Convergence Institute for
Engineering in the USA of which he is the CEO and a Professor of Orthopedic Surger