Jacqueline Barton of Caltech Honored by the American Chemical Society

Jacqueline K. Barton, the John G. Kirkwood and Arthur A. Noyes Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, has been named the recipient of this year’s Theodore William Richards Medal Award by the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society. The award has been presented every other year since 1932 and recognizes “conspicuous achievements in chemistry.” Professor Barton will be honored in March at a ceremony at Harvard University.

“I am very honored to be receiving this award based on the many great contributions of the students and postdocs who have worked in my laboratory,” Dr. Barton said.

Barton is receiving the award for her work on the chemistry of DNA, in particular, her use of transition metal complexes to examine DNA site recognition and reactions. Her work has shown that electrons can migrate rapidly through DNA as long as the double helix is well stacked and undamaged. This property of DNA is important in understanding how DNA is damaged and repaired.

Professor Barton is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine. She has been a MacArthur Fellow and was awarded the National Medal of Science.

Dr. Barton holds a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College in New York City and a Ph.D. from Columbia University.

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