Prof. Jean M.J. Frechet is a former senior vice president for research, innovation, and economic development at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Jeddah. He started in June 2010 and retired early January 2019.
On Wednesday, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal revealed the winners of the 2019 King Faisal Prize, recognizing individuals and institutions for significant contributions to their field.
The winners included Prof. Abdelali Mohamed Oudrhiri from Morocco and Prof. Mahmoud Fahmy Hegazi from Egypt for Arabic language and literature, Prof. Bjorn Reino Olsen and Prof. Steven L. Teitelbaum from the US for medicine. Prof. Allen Joseph Bard for science, and Prof. Frechet from the US for outstanding contributions in the field of chemistry.
Prof. Frechet’s specialties lie in chemical and biological science and engineering, including polymer science, microfluidics, and nanotechnology. He has written for more than 800 publications, holds over 200 patents, and was also the recipient of the 2007 Dickson Prize and Arthur C. Cope Award, as well as the 2013 Japan Prize for chemistry.
He received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Institut de Chimie et Physique Industrielles de Lyon in 1967, and in 1969 received a master’s in organic and polymer chemistry from Syracuse University and State University of New York. He obtained his doctorate from the same university in 1971.
Becoming a faculty member in the field of chemistry at the University of Ottawa in Canada in 1973, Frechet left for the role of IBM Professor of Polymer Chemistry at Cornell University in 1987.