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Caltech Professor to Receive Chemistry Award

Published on Saturday, January 8, 2022 | 5:15 pm
 
Jacqueline Barton
Credit: Bob Paz for Caltech

Jacqueline K. Barton, the John G. Kirkwood and Arthur A. Noyes Professor of Chemistry, has been named the recipient of this year’s Theodore William Richards Medal Award by the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The award has been presented every other year since 1932 and recognizes “conspicuous achievements in chemistry.”

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. This charge transport property of DNA may also have a critical role in DNA replication.

“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,” Barton says.

Barton has received many other awards, including the 2015 Priestley Medal from the ACS; the ACS’s Award in Pure Chemistry; a MacArthur Fellowship; the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award; and the National Medal of Science. 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.

The Northeastern ACS will present Barton with the award at a ceremony on March 10, 2022, at Harvard University.

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