Nobel Prize Winner to become AMU Honorary Doctor

Nobel Prize Winner to become AMU Honorary Doctor

Professor Jean-Marie Lehn of the University of Strasbourg, winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1987, a member of the College de France, founder of ISIS – the Institute of Supramolecular Engineering in Strasbourg, foreign member of the Academy of Sciences is to be awarded the Honorary Doctorate of Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, following a decision by AMU Senate on March 29th, 2021!

Professor Jean-Marie Lehn is a friend of Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan.  Several AMU graduates  prepared their doctoral theses and completed internships in Strasbourg where he has lived and worked.
The scientist supported our university’s efforts to obtain grants and acted as a consultant.
He is also a laureate of the Medal for Merits for the Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań.

The decision of the Senate to grant him the title of Doctor Honoris Causa was made unanimously.



Prof. Jean-Marie Lehn is the creator of supramolecular chemistry that is crucial for the development of nanoelectronics and nanotechnology, the field of chemistry dealing with the ability of molecules to create more complex structures with controlled properties.

In addition, the Professor is a virtuoso of chemistry, a wonderful man, a researcher responsible for investigating the truth, and his tremendous scientific success is the result of hard work.  The Academic Community of Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan had the opportunity to take part in his lecture entitled “From Matter to Life: Chemistry? Chemistry!” held on September 15, 2015 at 1:15 p.m. at the Lubrański auditorium of the AMU (1 Wieniawskiego Street).

Professor Jean-Marie Lehn for years supported all the efforts of the Polish academics in attempts for grant applications, was a scientific consultant in one project of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, and the foreign partner in the project “Homing Plus” of the Foundation for Polish Science, both of which were carried out at the Faculty of Chemistry of Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan.

Background note

– None of chemists reading these words should have a shadow of doubt that, from the scientific point of view, Professor Lehn is an unquestionable candidate for this particular distinction, which is an honorary doctorate – stressed Professor Janusz Jurczak from the Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw in his review. – The very possibility of writing an opinion on the Nobel Prize Laureate in chemistry, one of the creators of the truly new chemistry of the twentieth century, supramolecular chemistry, a visionary and guide for generations of chemists, is something extraordinary – said Professor Maciej Kubicki from the Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań.

Jean-Marie Lehn was born in 1939 in Rosheim, Alsace. His studies in chemistry at the University of Strasbourg, under the supervision of Prof. Guy Ourisson, resulted in a PhD in 1963. Following his dissertation, Prof. Lehn moved to the USA, where he spent a year-long postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, under the supervision of Nobel laureate Prof. Robert Woodward. He worked on the total synthesis of vitamin B12, and performed the first quantum mechanical calculations with Prof. Roald Hoffmann. After returning to France, Professor Jean-Marie Lehn began to form his own research group. In a university laboratory built from scratch in Strasbourg, he began to study the recognition of inorganic and organic cations by synthetic receptors called cryptands.

On the basis of the results of these studies and reflections related to guest-host intermolecular relationships, Professor Lehn recognized the need to introduce a new interpretive system for biological processes and complex chemical systems that takes into account the dynamics of these interactions. He called this innovative interpretative tool supramolecular chemistry, which he completely equipped with relevant concepts and definitions, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1987. The prize was awarded to Prof. Lehn, along with Donald J. Cram and Charles J. Pedersen, for “the creation and application of molecules capable of specific interactions with high selectivity.


sources:  AMU, Poznan City Hall, Nobel Comittee

Professor-Jean-Marie-Lehn-signing-the-AMU-Guestbook-in-2015, photo-by-Maciej-Męczyński

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