Biographical Sketch: Jacqueline K. Barton, Ph.D.

1997 Stetten Lecture

Since graduate school, Dr. Jacqueline K. Barton has designed and used metal complexes that bind DNA with specificity to study the molecule's structure and dynamics. Using these metal complexes, her laboratory is now developing a startling new view of the chemistry of DNA. In a series of recent articles that challenge a longstanding paradigm, Dr. Barton and her group report that DNA double helix can mediate long-range electron transfer reactions, facilitating chemistry at a distance. Ultimately, this work may have important implications for understanding the damage to DNA caused by ultraviolet light and free radicals.

Dr. Barton has been a professor of chemistry at the California Institute of Technology since 1989. She received a B.A. from Barnard College and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Columbia University. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Bell Laboratories and Yale University, she became an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Hunter College, City University of New York. In 1983, she returned to Columbia University, becoming an associate professor of chemistry and biological sciences in 1985 and a full professor in 1986.

She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a prestigious MacArthur Foundation fellowship in 1991; the 1985 Alan T. Waterman Award of the National Science Foundation, which recognizes an outstanding young science or engineering researcher; and the 1988 American Chemical Society Award in Pure Chemistry. She was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991. In addition, she has served the chemical community through her participation in a wide range of governmental and industrial boards and advisory committees.

Dr. Barton has been an NIGMS grantee since 1983.