He was born in Poland in 1950, PhD. at the Polish Academy of Sciences in 1976. The following year, he completed a postdoctoral at the University of Florida. Between 1978 and 1984 he was a researcher at the Polish Academy of Sciences, then went to the University of Paris, first as a researcher and then as an Invited Professor, until 1985. That year, he went to Carnegie Mellon University, where he founded the Center for Macromolecular Engineering, which currently directs. In 2004 he reached the University Professor degree, the highest level at Carnegie Mellon University.
Matyjaszewski is one of the main professors in the field of Polymer Chemistry, currently having 15 PhD students and 5 post-doctoral students. He has supervised more than 200 students, is the author of 24 books, 100 book chapters, more than 1779 scientific articles and has more than 159 000 citations, being one of the most cited chemists in the world. Kris is a co-inventor on 62 issued U.S. patented technologies, holds 154 international patents and has 36 U.S. patent applications pending approval.
He has received more than 30 awards and distinctions, including the Franklin Institute Award (2017), Wolf Prize in Chemistry (2011), Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, Prize of the Foundation for Polish Science (2004), Humboldt Prize for Senior Scientists (1999) and Award of the Polish Academy of Sciences (1981).