Jean M. J. Frechet

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

Election Year: 2000
Primary Section: 14, Chemistry
Secondary Section: 33, Applied Physical Sciences
Membership Type: Member

Research Interests

I perform research at the interface of chemistry, materials science, and biology and am concerned with the design, preparation, and study of synthetic macromolecules and nanometer scale molecular assemblies with controlled size, shape, and functionality. These include dendrimers and related polymers that perform functions or operate as devices, either as single molecules or as cooperative assemblies. For example, my coworkers and I prepare globular macromolecules, approximately the size of a small protein that function as antennae performing the light harvesting and energy transfer functions that constitute the early steps of photosynthesis. Other molecules, designed to act as nanoscale reactors powered by free energy, are capable of driving mass transfer in and out of their inner cavity where transition state catalysis takes place. Functional polymers are also invaluable to perform molecular recognition and separation function. To illustrate, we have developed new monolithic polymer media that offer unmatched versatility in the performance of tasks as varied as mixers, valves, or pumps for microfluidics, supports for chiral separations, or media for the very fast analysis of large proteomes. In the field of polymer therapeutics, dendritic molecules show great promise as efficient carriers for targeted drug delivery and gene therapy.

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