Success stories of Palestinian achievers from all over the world

Omar M. Yaghi

Omar M. Yaghi

Sector : Science, Scientists

Personal Info

  • Country of residence: United States
  • Gender: Male
  • Born in: 1965
  • Age: 56
  • Curriculum vitae :


Omar M. Yaghi, born February 9, 1965 is the James and Neeltje Tretter Chair Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and an elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences.

Yaghi was born in Amman, Jordan in 1965 to a refugee family, originally from Palestine. He grew up in a household with many children, but only had limited access to clean water and without electricity. At the age of 15, he moved to the United States at the encouragement of his father. Although he knew little English, he began classes at Hudson Valley Community College, and later transferred to the University at Albany, SUNY to finish his college degree. He began his graduate studies at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and received his PhD in 1990 under the guidance of Walter G. Klemperer. He was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University (1990–1992) with Professor Richard H. Holm.
He was on the faculties of Arizona State University (1992–1998) as an assistant professor, the University of Michigan (1999–2006) as the Robert W. Parry Professor of Chemistry, and the University of California, Los Angeles (2007-2012) as the Christopher S. Foote Professor of Chemistry as well as holding the Irving and Jean Stone Chair in Physical Sciences.
In 2012, he moved to the University of California, Berkeley where he is now the James and Neeltje Tretter Professor of Chemistry. He is the Founding Director of the Berkeley Global Science Institute. He is also a Co-Director of the Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute of the University of California, Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, as well as the California Research Alliance by BASF.
Yaghi pioneered reticular chemistry, a new field of chemistry concerned with stitching molecular building blocks together by strong bonds to make open frameworks. His most recognizable work is in the design and production of new classes of compounds known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs),zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs), and covalent organic frameworks (COFs). MOFs are noted for their extremely high surface areas (5640 m2/g for MOF-177) and very low crystalline densities (0.17 g·cm−3 for COF-108). Yaghi also pioneered molecular weaving, and synthesized the world’s first material woven at the atomic and molecular levels (COF-505).
He has been leading the effort in applying these materials in clean energy technologies including hydrogen and methane storage, carbon dioxide capture and storage, as well as harvesting water from desert air.
He is the second most cited chemist in the world (2000–2010).

Achievements and Awards

  • the Sacconi Medal of the Italian Chemical Society (2004)
  • s well as China Nano Award (2013)
  •  and received the Newcomb Cleveland Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for the best paper published in Science (2007)
  •  Yaghi is the recipient of the American Chemical Society Chemistry of Materials Award (2009)
  •  Izatt-Christensen International Award (2009)
  • the Royal Society of Chemistry Centenary Prize (2010)ternational Award (2009)

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