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Jean-Marie Lehn

Jean-Marie LehnBorn: 30-Sep-1939
Birthplace: Rosheim, France

Gender: Male
Religion: Agnostic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Chemist

Nationality: France
Executive summary: Synthesis of molecules

French chemist Jean-Marie Lehn extended Charles J. Pedersen discovery of crown ethers (macrocyclic compounds containing repeat units of -CH2CH2O-, or any similar compound containing nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus or silicon atoms instead of or in addition to oxygen atoms) from two-dimensional rings into a three dimensional understanding of molecular structure. Lehn synthesized a three-dimensional molecule that bound to neurotransmitters in the brain, a precursor to artificially-engineered enzymes with more desirable functions than natural enzymes. His work showed that crown ethers could be combined into a complex structures, and established that cryptands (polycyclic compounds consisting of three chains attached at matching nitrogen atoms) can bind metal cations with more selectivity than can crown ethers. With Pedersen and Donald J. Cram, Lehn won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1987.

Father: Pierre Lehn (baker, organist)
Mother: Marie
Wife: Sylvie Lederer (m. 1965, two sons)
Son: David (b. 1966)
Son: Mathias (b. 1969)

    High School: Collège Freppel, Obernai, France (1957)
    University: BS, University of Strasbourg (1960)
    University: PhD, University of Strasbourg (1963)
    Scholar: French National Center for Scientific Research (1960-66)
    Scholar: Harvard University (1963-64)
    Teacher: University of Strasbourg (1966-70)
    Teacher: Chemistry, Harvard University (1970)
    Professor: Chemistry, Harvard University (1970-79)
    Professor: Chemistry, Collège de France (1979-)

    CNRS Bronze Medal 1963
    FCS Adrian Prize 1968
    CNRS Silver Medal 1972
    Ordre National du Mérite Chevalier, 1976
    FCS Berr Prize 1978
    CNRS Gold Medal 1981
    Gold Medal of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences 1981
    SCS Philippus Paracelsus Medal 1982
    French Legion of Honor Chevalier, 1983
    EGU Alexander von Humboldt Medal 1983
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1987 (with Donald J. Cram and Charles J. Pedersen)
    French Legion of Honor Officer, 1988
    GCS Karl Ziegler Memorial Prize 1989
    Ordre des Palmes Académiques Chevalier. 1989
    Ordre National du Mérite Officer, 1993
    Ettore Majorana-Erice Science for Peace Prize 1994
    French Legion of Honor Commander, 1996
    Davy Medal 1997
    FCS Lavoisier Medal 1997
    SCI Messel Medal 1998
    Austrian Medal for Science and the Arts 2001
    Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Award 2003
    ISA Medal for Science 2007
    Academy of Arts and Sciences of Puerto Rico Corresponding Member, 1991
    Academy of Sciences for the Developing World 1996
    Accademia dei Lincei Foreign Member, 1985
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences Foreign Member, 1980
    American Association for the Advancement of Science Foreign Member, 2003
    American Philosophical Society Foreign Member, 1987
    Belgian Royal Society of Chemistry Foreign Member, 1987
    Chemical Society of Japan Foreign Member, 2002
    Chinese Academy of Sciences Foreign Member, 2004
    European Academy of Sciences 1987
    French Academy of Sciences 1985
    French Chemical Society 2005
    German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina Foreign Member, 1985
    Hungarian Academy of Sciences Foreign Member, 2001
    Indian Academy of Sciences Foreign Fellow, 1991
    Institute of Physics Foreign Member, 1999
    Institution of Chemical Engineers Foreign Member, 2003
    International Academy of Humanism 2001
    Korean Academy of Science and Technology Foreign Member, 1995
    National Academy of Sciences Foreign Associate, 1980
    Polish Academy of Sciences Foreign Member, 1991
    Pontifical Academy of Sciences 1996
    Romanian Academy Foreign Member, 1993
    Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences Foreign Member, 1983
    Royal Society Foreign Member, 1993
    Royal Society of Chemistry Foreign Member, 1987
    Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts Foreign Member, 2003
    Russian Academy of Sciences Foreign Member, 1999
    Ukrainian Academy of Sciences Foreign Member, 1992

Author of books:
Alkali Metal Complexes with Organic Ligands (1973, chemistry)
Supramolecular Chemistry: Concepts and Perspectives (1995, chemistry)
Comprehensive Supramolecular Chemistry (1996, chemistry; eleven volumes)
Experiments in Green and Sustainable Chemistry (2009, chemistry; with Dietmar Kennepohl and Herbert W. Roesky)

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