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Jack H. Freed, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at Cornell University, was born in New York City in 1938. After graduating from Stuyvesant High School (1954), he attended Yale University, receiving the BE degree in 1958, graduating first in his class with highest honors. He pursued his graduate studies at Columbia University with Professor George K. Fraenkel and received his M.S. in 1959 and his Ph.D. in 1962.

During 1962–1963 Dr. Freed was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Cambridge University. In 1963 he accepted a faculty appointment at Cornell University, where he has spent his subsequent career (Assistant Professor, 1963–1967; Associate Professor, 1967–1973; Professor, 1973–2016; Professor Emeritus, 2016–); Frank and Robert Laughlin Professor of Physical Chemistry (2007–), and became Professor Emeritus as of July 1, 2016. During that time he has held several visiting faculty posts at such institutions as Aarhus University, Delft University of Technology, University of Oxford, Yamagata University, and the University of Padua. He has been director of the NIH-funded National Biomedical Center for Advanced ESR Technology (ACERT) since 2001.

Professor Freed is a world-renowned expert in the field of magnetic resonance, especially electron-spin resonance (ESR). He is the author or co-author of over 400 publications; has served on the editorial boards of several major journals including the Journal of Physical Chemistry, Applied Magnetic Resonance, and Chemical Physics Letters; and has been recognized with numerous awards including the Bruker Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Gold Medal of the International ESR Society, the Irving Langmuir Prize of the American Physics Society, the International Zavoisky Prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the E. Bright Wilson and Joel Hildebrand Awards of the American Chemical Society, and the ISMAR Prize of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.