MacArthur Fellows Program

Jacqueline K. Barton

Biophysical Chemist | Class of 1991

Biophysical Chemist
Pasadena, California
39 at time of award
Area of Focus
Published July 1, 1991

About Jacqueline's Work

Jacqueline Barton is a biophysical and inorganic chemist who studies the chemistry of gene expression.

Her research has focused on designing transition metal complexes that target and probe specific sites along DNA and RNA strands. Using chiral coordination complexes, matching their shapes, symmetries, and functionalities to sites along the strand, she has developed complexes that recognize nucleic acid sites with high specificity. These complexes have been useful in exploring principles in molecular recognition, as mimics for gene regulatory proteins, as photophysical and photochemical probes of nucleic acids, and in exploring reactions on nucleic acids such as electron transfer chemistry.


Barton is the Arthur and Marion Hanisch Memorial Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology. She taught previously at Columbia University (1983-89). She has published articles in such journals as Science and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

Barton received an A.B. (1974) from Barnard College and a Ph.D. (1979) from Columbia University.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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