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Bertram Fraser-Reid

Bertram Oliver Fraser-Reid
BornFebruary 23, 1934
Coleyville, Jamaica
ResidenceUnited States
CitizenshipCanada and Jamaica
FieldOrganic chemistry
InstitutionsUniversity of Waterloo, University of Maryland, Duke University
Alma materQueens University, University of Alberta
Academic advisor  Raymond Lemieux
Known forChiral syntheses using carbohydrates, role of oligosaccharides in immune response
Notable prizesMerck, Sharp & Dohme Award, Chemical Institute of Canada (1977)

Senior Distinguished U.S. Scientist, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (1989)

Claude S. Hudson Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry, American Chemical Society (1990)

Jamaican National Foundation Award (1990)

Percy Julian Award, National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (1991)

Haworth Memorial Medal and Lectureship, Royal Society of Chemistry (1995)

Musgrave Gold Medal, Institute of Jamaica (2007)

Bertram Oliver "Bert" Fraser-Reid (born February 23,1934) is a synthetic organic chemist who has been widely recognized for his work using carbohydrates as starting materials for chiral materials and on the role of oligosaccharides in immune response.


Early life

Fraser-Reid was born in Coleyville, Jamaica and attended Excelsior School and Clarendon College before moving to Canada in 1956.[1] He completed his B.Sc (1959) and M.Sc. (1961) at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario[2] then went to University of Alberta to earn a Ph.D. in 1964 under the supervision of Raymond Lemieux. He went to Imperial College, in London, to do postdoctoral work for Nobel Laureate Sir Derek Barton from 1964-1966.[3]

Academic career

From 1966 to 1980 Fraser-Reid was on the faculty of the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario where he established a research group known as "Fraser-Reid's Rowdies".[1] The primary emphasis of his work at this point was the synthesis of chiral natural products using carbohydrates as the starting materials. In 1980 he moved to the University of Maryland, College Park before finally relocating to Duke University in Durham, North Carolina in 1982. In 1985 he became the James B. Duke professor of chemistry.[4] While at Duke University his research efforts turned to exploring the role of oligosaccharides in immune responses, and particularly on the role these molecules play in human diseases like malaria and AIDS. After his retirement from Duke in 1996, which was linked to an undisclosed harasessment claim,[5] he established the non-profit Natural Products/Glycotechnology Research Institute Inc. to study the carbohydrate chemistry/biology of tropical parasitic diseases in Third World countries with one goal being to develop a carbohydrate-based malaria vaccine.[3] Fraser-Reid and collaborators at this institute recently achieved a milestone in oligosaccharide synthesis by assembling a molecule consisting of 28 monosaccharide units.[6]


Several sources have reported that Fraser-Reid was nominated in 1998 for a Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work on oligosaccharides and immune responses.[1][7][8] It is difficult to verify this since the names of the nominees are never publicly announced, and neither are they told that they have been considered for the Prize. Nomination records are sealed for fifty years.

The Institute of Jamaica awarded Fraser-Reid the 2007 Musgrave Gold Medal for his work in chemistry, noting that during his career he co-authored over 330 peer-reviewed publications and supervised 85 post-doctoral fellows and 55 Ph.D. students.[8]

Other interests

Apart from his interests in science, Fraser-Reid is an accomplished musician, having given piano and organ recitals at notable venues such as St. George's Cathedral, Kingston, Jamaica (December 1986) and Cathedral de Seville, Spain (August 1995).[8]

In the 1970s Fraser-Reid was involved in a law suit against a building contractor who had not followed followed municipal building codes. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada and "Fraser-Reid v Droumtsekas" is often cited in Canadian civil law. [9]


  1. ^ a b c Nelson, Jaevion (Apr 20, 2005). Panorama: Let Us Honour a Great Man. Retrieved on 2007-11-16.
  2. ^ Fraser-Reid Biography from Retrieved on 2007-11-16.
  3. ^ a b The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed: Fraser-Reid., University of Washington, Seattle. Retrieved on 2007-11-16.
  4. ^ Fraser-Reid biography from BookRags. Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
  5. ^ Dillon, Justin. "Professor retires amid harassment allegations", The Chronicle Online, The Independant Daily at Duke University, 6/1/95. Retrieved on 2007-11-21. 
  6. ^ Largest Synthetic Hetero-Oligosaccharide. Chemical and Engineering News (November 8, 2006). Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
  7. ^ Sheil, Ross. "The sugar doctor", Jamaica Gleaner, January 17, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-11-16. 
  8. ^ a b c Musgrave Medal Citation. Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
  9. ^ Bharwani, Esmail. "Do the sale agreement words constitute an express warranty?", Dollars & Sense Vol. 22 No. 25, Calgary Realestate Board, June 17, 2004. Retrieved on 2007-11-21. 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bertram_Fraser-Reid". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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