Spring 2017 Distinguished Lecture

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Professor Jacqueline Barton (Caltech) gave the Spring 2017 UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry Distinguished Lecture on Wednesday, April 19th.

Dr. Jacqueline K. Barton is the Arthur and Marian Hanisch Memorial Professor of Chemistry and Norman Davidson Leadership Chair of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. She presented her lecture, “RNA Signaling”, at the UCLA California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) Auditorium. Photos from the event are available below.   

At the lecture, Department Chair Professor Catherine Clarke gave the welcoming remarks and Barton was introduced by Professor Ken Houk. 

About Professor Barton

Barton obtained her Ph.D. at Columbia University. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Bell Laboratories and Yale University, she first joined the faculty at Hunter College and then returned to Columbia University. In 1989, she joined Caltech. Barton has carried out studies to elucidate DNA-mediated electron transfer chemistry. This chemistry has been applied in the development of DNA-based electrochemical sensors and explored in the context of DNA repair and long range signaling within the cell. Through this research, Barton has trained more than 100 graduate students and postdoctoral students. Barton’s awards include the NSF Waterman Award, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and, most recently the Priestley Medal, the highest award of the American Chemical Society. She has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine. In 2011, Barton received the 2010 National Medal of Science. 


Prof. Jacqueline Barton during her lecture in the filled to capacity CNSI auditorium.

About The Distinguished Lecture Series

The UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry Distinguished Lecture Series is a department-wide colloquium in a special week once per quarter when there are no other seminars in our department. Since beginning this event three years ago, we have invited some of the world’s most accomplished and engaging people to speak – Frances Arnold (Caltech), Barry Honig (Columbia), Nobel Laureate Roger Kornberg (Stanford), Harry Gray (Caltech), Francois Diederich (ETH Zurich), Yi Lu (Illinois), Sharon Hammes-Schiffer (Illinois), JoAnne Stubbe (MIT), Douglas Rees (Caltech), Kimberly Prather (UCSD, Scripps) and now Barton. Their lectures have consistently encouraged thought-provoking conversations and ideas. The Fall 2017 Distinguished Lecture by Nobel Laureate Thomas R. Cech, Distinguished Professor, University of Colorado Boulder; Director, University of Colorado BioFrontiers Institute; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, will take place on Monday, October 30, 2017, at 4:00 p.m. in the UCLA CNSI auditorium. He will give a lecture titled “The Ribonucleoprotein World: Telomerase, Epigenetic Switches, and Cancer”. The lectures are open to the public. While the research covered in the lectures is meant to appeal to a broad range of chemists and biochemists, the lectures also include a general introduction to the research for those who are further separated in research expertise.
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Department Chair Prof. Catherine Clarke gave the welcoming remarks and Prof. Ken Houk introduced Barton.

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At the reception following Barton’s lecture, Dean

 of UCLA Division of Physical Sciences 

Miguel Garcia-Garibay, Houk, Barton, Clarke.

UCLA Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty with Barton (middle) – Profs. Ric Kaner, Paul Weiss,  Houk, Barton, newly recruited Justin Caram who will join the faculty in July 2017, Ellen Sletten, Sri Kosuri, Alex Spokoyny, Sabeeha Merchant, and Jung.


At the reception following the lecture – Jung, Barton, and Garcia-Garibay.

Photos by Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.