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Professor Mitsuo Sawamoto (Institute of Science and Technology Research) Receives the Benjamin Franklin Medal

[May 16, 2017]

Professor Mitsuo Sawamoto (Institute of Science and Technology Research) has received the 2017 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry. He received the award at a ceremony held at the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, on May 4.

The award was established in 1824 and is one of the most prestigious in the field of chemistry. It is recognized internationally, with past recipients including Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and Bill Gates. Japanese recipients include Nobel Prize Laureates in Physics Shuji Nakamura, Masatoshi Koshiba and Yoichiro Nambu. Professor Sawamoto received the award jointly with Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, USA. He is the first Japanese person to receive the award.

The Medal was awarded for seminal contributions to the development of a new polymerization process involving metal catalysts. This powerful process affords unprecedented control of polymer composition and architecture, making possible new materials including improved composites, coatings, dispersants, and biomedical polymers.

Professor Sawamoto arrived in Philadelphia on May 1st. After joining the other recipients for a welcome dinner, he participated in open lectures and symposiums held at the University of Pennsylvania and also interacted with local community members and students in the field of chemistry. Roughly 800 people were in attendance at the award ceremony held on the 4th. Professor Sawamoto donned a tuxedo and accepted his award from Franklin Institute President Larry Dubinski.

Professor Sawamoto commented that he is honored to receive the award. He is looking forward to the application of polymers with dramatically advanced performance in the field of biology and beyond, and he hopes that this may even help unravel mysteries surrounding the origin of life.
 

Roughly 800 people were in attendance at the award ceremony.
Roughly 800 people were in attendance at the award ceremony.

Professor Mitsuo Sawamoto (left) and co-recipient Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, USA.
Professor Mitsuo Sawamoto (left) and co-recipient Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, USA.

Award recipients from all categories gather for a group photo in front of the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial.
Award recipients from all categories gather for a group photo in front of the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial.

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