Travels Along the DNA Helix
JACQUELINE BARTON
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 1992

Have you heard of transitional metal complexes?
(Neither had I.) In layman's terms, they are
common metals, such as iron and cobalt, which in their
ionic state often attach to other atoms and groups,
forming transitional metal complexes. It turns out that
these complexes are enormous in variety and can be
used as probes to explore DNA and RNA structure. This
offers us new information about genes and possibly
cancer and is of central focus to Dr. Jacqueline Barton.

Dr. Barton is a professor of chemistry at the California
Institute of Technology. She was awarded the Bachelor
of Arts degree summa cum laude at Barnard College in
1974 and went on to receive a Ph.D. in inorganic
chemistry at Columbia University in 1979. Thereafter, as
a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow, she
studied biophysics at Bell Laboratories and Yale University in the laboratory of R.G. Shulman. Dr. Barton then
became an assistant professor of chemistry 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. In the fall of 1989, she
assumed her present position at Caltech.

Because of Dr. Barton's outstanding scholarly endeavors, she has received many awards. This year she was
elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and
Sciences, named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and
received the Baekeland Medal of the ACS North Jersey
Section. She has also been named the 1992 recipient of
the American Chemical Society's Garvan Medal. The
Joint Science Department has selected Dr. Barton as a
participant in the Athenaeum's Academic Leaders
series.

Dr. Barton's speech is titled "Travels Along the DNA
Helix." Please sign up for the dinner at 6:00 or, if you're
too busy, come to the speech at 7:00.