Jean-Marie Lehn

Jean-Marie Lehn

Infobox Scientist
name = Jean-Marie Lehn

image_size = 180px
caption = Dresden University of Technology, 2008
birth_date = birth date and age|1939|09|30|df=y
birth_place = Rosheim, France
nationality = France
field = Supramolecular chemistry
work_places =
alma_mater =
doctoral_advisor =
doctoral_students =
known_for = cryptands
prizes = Nobel prize in Chemistry in 1987

Jean-Marie Lehn (born September 30, 1939) is a French chemist. He received the Nobel Prize together with Donald Cram and Charles Pedersen in 1987 for his work in Chemistry, particularly his synthesis of the cryptands. Lehn was an early innovator in the field of supramolecular chemistry, i.e., producing large, useful compounds from smaller pieces in a rational way, and continues to innovate in this field. He has published in excess of 800 peer-reviewed articles in chemistry literature.


Early years

Lehn was born in Rosheim, France to Pierre an Marie Lehn. His father was a baker, but because of his interest for music, he later became the city organist. Lehn also studied music, saying that it became his major interest after science. He has continued to play the organ throughout his professional career as a scientist. His high school studies, from 1950 to 1957, included Latin, Greek, German, and English languages, French literature, and he later became very keen of both philosophy and science, particularly chemistry. In July 1957, he obtained the baccalauréat in philosophy, and in September of the same year, the baccalauréat in Natural Sciences.

Although he considered studying philosophy, he ended up taking courses in physical, chemical and natural sciences, attending the lectures of Guy Ourisson, and realizing that he wanted to pursue a research career in organic chemistry.

After earning his bachelor's, he joined Ourisson's lab, working his way to the Ph.D. There, he was in charge of the lab's first NMR spectrometeter, and published his first scientific paper, which pointed out an additivity rule for substituent induced shifts of proton NMR signals in steroid derivatives. He obtained his Ph.D., and went to work for a year at Robert Burns Woodward's laboratory at Harvard University, working among other things on the synthesis of vitamin B12.


In 1966, he was appointed a position as "maître de conférences" (assistant professor) at the Chemistry Department of the University of Strasbourg. His research focused on the physical properties of molecules, synthesizing compounds specifically designed for exhibiting a given property, in order to better understand how that property was related to structure.

In 1968, he achieved the synthesis of cage-like molecules, comprising a cavity inside which another molecule could be lodged. Organic chemistry enabled him to engineer cages with the desired shape, thus only allowing a certain type of molecule to lodge itself in the cage. This was the premise for an entire new field in chemistry, sensors. Such mechanisms also play a great role in molecular biology.

These cryptands, as Lehn dubbed them, became his main center of interest, and led to his definition of a new type of chemistry, "supramolecular chemistry", which instead of studying the bonds inside one molecule, looks at intermolecular attractions, and what would be later called "fragile objects", such as micelles, polymers, or clays.

In 1980, he was elected to become a teacher at the prestigious Collège de France, and in 1987 was awarded the Nobel Prize, alongside Donald Cram and Charles Pedersen for his works on cryptands.

Personal life

Lehn was wed in 1965 to Sylvie Ledere, and together they have two sons, David and Mathias.

Honours and awards

* Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1987)
* Commander of the Légion d'Honneur (1996)
* Officer of the Ordre National du Mérite (1993)
* Knight of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques (1989)
* Österreichische Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst, (first class) (2001)


*cite journal | last=Goodman | first=Catherine | authorlink= | year=2007 | month=Nov | title=Jean-Marie Lehn | journal=Nat. Chem. Biol. | volume=3 | issue=11 | pages=685 | publisher=| location= | pmid=17948011 | doi=10.1038/nchembio1107-685

External links

* [ Nobel Prize Biography]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jean-Marie Lehn — après sa conférence à l Université technologique de Dresde, janvier 2008 Naissance 30 septembre 1939 Rosheim (Bas Rhin) Nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jean-Marie Lehn — (1991) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jean-marie lehn — Jean Marie Lehn après sa conférence à l Université de technologie de Dresde, janvier 2008 Naissance 30  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jean-Marie Lehn — Jean Marie Lehn, a su salida de una conferencia en la Universidad Tecnológica de Dresde, en enero de 2008. Jean Marie Pierre Lehn (Rosheim, 30 de septiembre de 1939) es un químico francés, profesor e investigador galardonado con el premio Nobel… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Jean-Marie — Infobox Given Name Revised name = Jean Marie imagesize= caption= pronunciation= gender = Male meaning = region = origin = related names = Jean, Marie footnotes = Jean Marie may refer to:* August Jean Marie Vermorel (1841 1871), French journalist… …   Wikipedia

  • Lehn , Jean Marie Pierre — (1939–) French chemist Born at Rosheim in France, Lehn was educated at Strasbourg where he obtained his PhD in 1963, and at Harvard. After working in Strasbourg from 1966 to 1970, Lehn returned to Harvard as professor of chemistry. In 1979 he… …   Scientists

  • Lehn, Jean-Marie — ▪ French chemist born Sept. 30, 1939, Rosheim, France       French chemist who, together with Charles J. Pedersen (Pedersen, Charles J.) and Donald J. Cram (Cram, Donald J.), was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1987 for his contribution… …   Universalium

  • Lehn, Jean-Marie — ► (n. 1938) Científico francés. En 1987 le fue concedido el premio Nobel de Química, que ha compartido con Ch. J. Pedersen y D. J. Cram, por sus trabajos de síntesis de moléculas con capacidad de ejercer una alta selectividad y una interacción… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Chemienobelpreis 1987: Donald James Cram — Jean-Marie Pierre Lehn — Charles John Pedersen —   Die Amerikaner Cram und Pedersen erhielten den Nobelpreis zusammen mit dem Franzosen Lehn für die »Entwicklung und Anwendung von Molekülen mit strukturspezifischen Wechselwirkungen von hoher Selektivität«.    Biografien   Donald James Cram, *… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • LEHN (J.-M.) — LEHN JEAN MARIE (1939 ) Chimiste français né à Rosheim (Bas Rhin) qui a reçu, en 1987, le prix Nobel de chimie, avec les Américains Donald J. Cram et Charles J. Pedersen, pour leurs travaux sur l’élaboration et l’utilisation de molécules… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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