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Lâle Burk

Senior Lecturer Emerita in Chemistry

Lale Burk


McConnell Hall 105


Lâle Burk’s research in natural products chemistry has concentrated on the isolation, structure determination and the total asymmetric syntheses of sesquiterpene compounds found in plant essential oils; the investigation of different methodologies (e.g., chemical versus enzymatic) for resolving chiral natural products; and enzyme-catalyzed organic syntheses.

Another ongoing project involves researching the life and career of the German chemist Fritz Georg Arndt, who played an important role in the development of physical organic chemistry and of resonance theory. Arndt also played a profound role in the history of chemistry in Turkey, where he taught for more than two decades.

Selected Publications

"An Open Door: German Refugee Professors in Turkey," in Peter I. Rose, Ed., The Dispossesed: An Anatomy of Exile. University of Massachusetts Press, 2004, 235-257.

Hall, A. C., Turcotte, C. M., Betts, B. A., Yeung, W., Agyeman, A. S., Burk, L. A., "Modulation of Human GABAA and Glycine Receptor Currents by Menthol and Related Monoterpenoids," European Journal of Pharmacology, 2004, 506(1), 9-16.

"Absinthe: Chemistry and Culture," in Douglas Lane Patey, Ed., Of Human Bondage, Smith College Studies in History, Volume LII, 2003, 97-132.

"Fritz Arndt and His Chemistry Books in the Turkish Language," Bulletin for the History of Chemistry, 2003, 28 (1), 42-53.

"Fritz Arndt's Turkish Textbooks: The Scientist and Historical Change," ACS 220th National Meeting Book of Abstracts 2000, Part I: History of Chemistry Division, #3.

"Fritz Arndt: A Leading German Chemist in a Changing Turkish State," ACS 208th National Meeting Book of Abstracts 1994, Part I: History of Chemistry Division, #8.

Burk, L.A., Chung, L.Y., "The Stereostructure of Bisabolene Trihydrochloride," Journal of Natural Products, 1992, 55, 1336-1338.

Soffer, M.D., Burk, L.A., "The Total Stereostructure of (-)-Isozingiberene Dihydrochloride," Tetrahedron Letters, 1985, 26, 3543-3546.

Soffer, M.D., Burk, L.A., Troup, J.M., Extine, M.W., "Total Stereostructure of (-)-Muurolene Dihydrochloride," Tetrahedron Letters, 1983, 24, 1455-1458.

Burk, L.A., Soffer, M.D., "Stereospecific Total Synthesis of (+)-ε- and (-)-γ2-Cadinene," Tetrahedron, 1976, 32, 2083-2087.


Ph.D., University of Massachusetts
M.A., Smith College
B.S., The American College (formerly Robert College), Istanbul