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DNA signaling, repair topic of annual lecture series

Monday, October 28, 2013

LAWRENCE — DNA signaling and repair will be the topics of the sixth biennial Richard L. Schowen Lectures in Bioorganic Chemistry next month.

Jacqueline Barton, Arthur and Marian Hanisch Memorial Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Division of Chemistry at California Institute of Technology, will deliver the lectures. A public lecture event “Signaling Through DNA Chemistry” will be 4 p.m. Nov. 7 in 3020 Pharmacy Building, with a reception following the lecture. Her second lecture, “Metals, Mismatches and New Targets in DNA Repair,” will be at 2 p.m. Nov. 8 in 130 Budig Hall. 

Barton is the Arthur and Marian Hanisch Memorial Professor and Chair of the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division at the California Institute of Technology. She is a graduate of Barnard College (A. B., summa cum laude) and Columbia (Ph.D. with S. J. Lippard) and performed postdoctoral research with R.G. Shulman at Bell Laboratories and Yale University. She has held faculty positions at Hunter College, City University of New York, Columbia and Caltech. 

She has conducted pioneering research on the reactions and recognition of DNA using transition metals.  In addition, she has investigated the role of electron transfer in chemistry of DNA, which has been applied to DNA-based sensors. 

Barton’s awards include the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the Alan T. Waterman Award from the National Science Foundation, the ACS Pure Chemistry Award and NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award. She is a Fellow of several scientific societies, including the National Academy of Science, American Academy of Arts and Science and American Philosophical Society. In 2011, she was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Obama.

The Schowen Lecture series is funded by former students, colleagues and friends of Richard L. Schowen, Summerfield Professor emeritus of Chemistry, Molecular Biosciences and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, who retired in July 2000 after 37 years of teaching chemistry at KU.

Schowen’s career spanned a broad range of expertise in the chemical, biological and pharmaceutical sciences. His numerous awards include Fellow of the American Chemical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Dolph Simons Sr. Higuchi Award for Research in the Biomedical Sciences.  Schowen served for 16 years as associate editor and as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

The Department of Chemistry is in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which encourages learning without boundaries in its more than 50 departments, programs and centers. Curriculum in the College emphasizes interdisciplinary education, global awareness and experiential learning. The College is KU's broadest, most diverse academic unit.