Jean-Marie Lehn

Jean-Marie Lehn

1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Jean-Marie Lehn is a famous French chemist. He received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry together with Donald Cram and Charles Pedersen in 1987 "for their development and use of molecules with structure-specific interactions of high selectivity

Education and Work Experience
  • 1963, Doctorat-ès-Sciences (Ph.D.), University of Strasbourg, France. 
  • 1963-1964, Postdoctoral fellow, Harvard University
  • 1966-1969, Assistant Professor at the University of Strasbourg
  • 1970-1979, Professor of Chemistry at the University Louis Pasteur of Strasbourg
  • 1979-Present, Professor at Collège de France
Honors and Awards
    • 1980, Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA
    • 1980, Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    • 1985, Member of the Académie des Sciences, Institut de France
    • 1987, Nobel Prize in Chemistry
    • 2004, Foreign academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences
Major Academic Achievements

Professor Lehn's main research area is supramolecular chemistry, especially the synthesis of point ether. Lehn expanded on Pedersen’s achievement in creating crown ethers, a class of two-dimensional, ring-shaped organic compounds that are capable of selectively recognizing and combining with other molecules. In the course of his efforts to synthesize three-dimensional molecules that would possess similar reactive characteristics, Lehn created a molecule that combines with the chemical acetylcholine, which is an important neurotransmitter in the brain. His work raised the possibility of creating totally artificial enzymes that would have characteristics superior to their natural counterparts in the human body.