Sauvage is Director Emeritus of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Strasbourg, France. Sauvage received his Ph.D. from Louis Pasteur University (now part of the University of Strasbourg) in 1971. Sauvage was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford for two years, and taught at the University of Strasbourg as Professor of Chemistry along with his position as Director of Research at CNRS for many years. In 2016, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on molecular machines.
Sauvage’s work focuses on what’s called “supramolecular chemistry,” a subfield that concerns chemical systems with a discrete number of molecules. In particular, Sauvage works on creating molecules that mimic the function of machines, by varying their output depending on inputs. DNA replication and ATP synthesis are performed by similar structures, known as macromolecular machines. Sauvage won the Nobel Prize for providing a key step towards molecular machines when he synthesized two molecules that are interlocked and move mechanically (rather than chemically). Sauvage also performs core research on the processes involved in photosynthesis and reductions of carbon dioxide.
In addition to winning the Nobel Prize, Sauvage was elected a correspondent member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1990.
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