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10/21/2011 07:00:00

Watch Jackie Barton Receive the National Medal of Science

Today, President Obama will present Jacqueline K. Barton, chair of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Caltech, and six other recipients with the National Medal of Science. The medal is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists.

The ceremony is scheduled to be webcast live at 11 a.m. (PT) on the White House website. The president will also present the National Medal of Technology and Innovation to five recipients and will announce additional steps to speed the process of moving new ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Barton's selection was announced last month. She was cited by the White House for her "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."

There have been 56 recipients of the National Medal of Science, including Barton, who are alumni or faculty at Caltech. Barton is the first woman at Caltech to receive the medal.

For a full list of this year's medal recipients, click here.

Written by Kimm Fesenmaier