Faculty Profile: Dr. Jeff Turk
Dr. Jeff Turk’s parents sealed his fate when they bought him a chemistry set at age nine. The last three weeks of his high school AP Chemistry class sparked his interest in organic chemistry.
The assistant professor of chemistry joined Alma faculty in 2006 after earning his undergraduate degree at Cleveland State University and his master's and doctorate degrees at the University of Cincinnati.
“I chose Alma College because of its focus on the importance of quality teaching coupled with the overall research potential within the chemistry department,” he says.
His research has always been in medicinal or drug-related chemistry, and his work at a large flavor and fragrance company added fragrance chemistry to the list.
“One of my favorite hobbies is learning new things and then talking about them,” he says. “I had a short tenure in the chemical industry, and it became clear that although I enjoyed certain parts of my job, I was missing the teaching aspect that I really loved.”
Turk’s current research involves creating new molecules that inhibit Avian Influenza (Bird-Flu), which is partially funded by a grant from Alma. One of his research students just received a prestigious grant to work with him over the summer.
“The majority of the students at Alma seem generally interested in learning — this is rare, and is not seen at many larger institutions,” he says. “Alma College is selective, and brings very good students in.”
In his spare time, Turk enjoys cooking, bicycling and the outdoors, as well as raising freshwater fish and plants, and being a husband and father.