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Jacqueline K. Barton to receive 2021 Theodore Richards Award for conspicuous achievement in chemistry

by Mary Shultz, ACS Northeastern Section
January 29, 2022 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 100, Issue 4

Jacqueline Barton.
Credit: Courtesy of ACS Northeastern Section
Jacqueline Barton

California Institute of Technology professor Jacqueline K. Barton has been selected to receive the 2021 Theodore William Richards Medal Award, in recognition of “conspicuous achievements in chemistry,” from the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society (NESACS). Barton, the John G. Kirkwood and Arthur A. Noyes Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology, will receive the award during the ACS Northeastern Section monthly meeting on March 10, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Barton will be the 46th recipient of the award, which was established in 1928. NESACS conveys the award every 2 years. The medal honors Theodore William Richards, the first chemistry Nobel laureate of the US. Recipients of the prestigious honor include 11 Nobel laureates and other scientific luminaries.

Professor Barton’s achievements include pioneering the application of transition metal complexes to probe recognition and reactions of double helical DNA. Using her metal complexes, Barton has carried out studies that elucidate electron transfer chemistry mediated by the DNA double helix. Her research has shown that this chemistry is a powerful means for long-range DNA-mediated signaling. The work has provided a basis for the development of sensitive nucleic acid sensors as well as for understanding the chemistry underlying DNA damage, repair, and replication.


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