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Jacqueline Barton earns National Medal of Science

Former Columbia SoCal Alumna of the Year honored by President Obama

President Obama has named seven eminent researchers as recipients of the National Medal of Science, including Columbia SoCal's 1995 Alumna of the Year, Jacqueline K. Barton. Dr. Barton is a 1974 graduate of Barnard College, and earned a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry at Columbia in 1978.

According to a White House press release, Dr. Barton was honored "for discovery of a new property of the DNA helix, long-range electron transfer, and for showing that electron transfer depends upon stacking of the base pairs and DNA dynamics. Her experiments reveal a strategy for how DNA repair proteins locate DNA lesions and demonstrate a biological role for DNA-mediated charge transfer."

In praising all the honorees, President Obama said, "Each of these extraordinary scientists, engineers, and inventors is guided by a passion for innovation, a fearlessness even as they explore the very frontiers of human knowledge, and a desire to make the world a better place. Their ingenuity inspires us all to reach higher and try harder, no matter how difficult the challenges we face."

Dr. Barton is the Arthur and Marian Hanisch Memorial Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. She was a member of the Columbia faculty from 1983 to 1989, and later served as a Barnard trustee.

You can view the official White House press release and learn more about the National Medal of Science here.

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