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Lâle Burk

Senior Lecturer in Chemistry
Smith College

Office Hours: TBA
Phone: (413)-585-3841
Fax: (413)-585-3786


Ph. D. University of Massachusetts (under four college cooperative program, thesis work at Smith), Organic Chemistry,  1969

M.A. Smith College, Chemistry, 1964

B.S. The American College (ACG, formerly Robert College, Istanbul), Chemistry, 1962


Smith College, 2001-present 
Senior Lecturer in Chemistry

Smith College, 1972-2001 
Lecturer in Chemistry

Cooley-Dickinson Hospital, Northampton, 1971-72
Instructor of Chemistry to Nursing Students

Smith College, 1971-72
Sloan Post-doctoral Fellow

Smith College, 1969-71
Research Associate

Smith College, 1968-69

Smith College, 1967-68
Research Fellow

Smith College, 1962-67
Teaching Fellow


CHM 100: Perspectives in Chemistry--The Chemistry of Art Objects
CHM 111: General Chemistry
CHM 222: Organic Chemistry I (laboratory)
CHM 223: Organic Chemistry II (laboratory)
CHM 328: Bio-organic Chemistry
FYS 191: First Year Seminar: Sense and Essence in Nature
HSC211: Perspectives in the History of Science:The History of Art Conservation


My research in natural products chemistry has concentrated in the following areas: 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; enzyme-catalyzed organic syntheses. In addition, historic studies provide useful insights for present day researchers. An ongoing project in my research involves the life and career of the German chemist Fritz Georg Arndt (1885-1969) 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 over two decades.


L. A. Burk, "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, Adam C.; Turcotte, Carolyn M.; Betts, Brooke A.; Yeung, Wing-Yee; Agyeman, Abena S.; Burk, Lale A.. Modulation of human GABAA and glycine receptor currents by menthol and related monoterpenoids. European Journal of Pharmacology 2004, 506(1), 9-16.

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

L. A. Burk, "Fritz Arndt and His Chemistry Books in the Turkish Language," Bull. Hist. Chem. 2003, 28 (1), 42-53.

L. A. Burk, "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.

L. A. Burk, "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.

L. A. Burk and L. Y. Chung, "The stereostructure of Bisabolene trihydrochloride," J. Nat. Prod. 1992, 55, 1336-1338.

M. D. Soffer and L. A. Burk, "The total stereostructure of (-)-Isozingiberene dihydrochloride," Tet. Lett. 1985, 26, 3543-3546.

M. D. Soffer, L. A. Burk, J. M. Troup and M. W. Extine, "Total stereostructure of (-)-Muurolene Dihydrochloride," Tet. Lett. 1983, 24, 1455-1458.

L. A. Burk and M. D. Soffer, "Stereospecific total synthesis of (+)-E-Cadinene and (-)-G2-Cadinene," Tetrahedron 1976, 32, 2083-2087.

C. J. Burk and L. A. Burk, "Bosphorus birds," Man and Nature 1971, December.

L. A. Burk and M. D. Soffer, "Stereospecific total synthesis of (-)-G2-Cadinene," Tet. Lett.1971, 4367-4370.

M. D. Soffer and L. A. Burk, "Stereospecific total synthesis of (+)-E-Cadinene, enolic epimerization in the Wittig and methyllithium reactions," Tet. Lett. 1970, 211-214.


American Chemical Society

Turk Kimya Dernegi (Turkish Chemical Society) -- U.S.A representative

International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry

Sigma Xi

Last modified on July 23 2012 05:42:18.