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Esselen Award to Jean Fréchet

April 11, 2005 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 83, Issue 15

Jean M. J. Fréchet, Henry Rapoport Chair of Organic Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, and head of materials synthesis at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has been named the recipient of the 19th Gustavus John Esselen Award. The award will be presented by the ACS Northeastern Section on April 14 in Cambridge, Mass.

Fréchet's research at the interface of organic, biological, and materials chemistry is directed toward functional polymers and their design, synthesis, and applications. His work includes both fundamental and mission-oriented studies with targets such as the control of macromolecular architecture, the establishment of structure-activity relationships, and the design of macromolecules for catalysis. Other areas of his research include energy harvesting and conversion, therapeutic applications, separation and microfluidic media, and nanolithography.

In 1973, at the University of Ottawa, Fréchet started a research program directed at the development of functional polymers as reagents and supports for solid-phase syntheses. These synthetic approaches became widely used nearly two decades later with the advent of combinatorial chemistry. The concept of chemical amplification used today for the microlithographic fabrication of nearly all state-of-the-art microelectronic devices emerged from his 1979 work in collaboration with C. G. Willson of IBM Research Laboratory (now at the University of Texas, Austin) on functional polymers as photoresists. Fréchet's approach to precise biocompatible dendritic carriers for the targeted delivery of anticancer drugs has been licensed and is under consideration for commercial development.

Presented annually since 1987, the Gustavus John Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest honors outstanding scientific achievement in scientific and technical work that contributes to the public well-being and has thereby communicated positive values of the chemical profession. Further information concerning the award can be found at the Northeastern Section's website,




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