Dean Burk

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M. Dean Burk, PhD
M. Dean Burk.jpg
Born (1904-03-21)March 21, 1904
Died October 6, 1988(1988-10-06) (aged 84)
Alma mater

University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Davis

Dean Burk (March 21, 1904 – October 6, 1988) was an American biochemist: a co-discoverer of biotin,[1] medical researcher, and a cancer researcher at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute and the National Cancer Institute. In 1934, he developed the Lineweaver–Burk plot together with Hans Lineweaver.[2]

Dean was the second of four sons born to Frederic Burk, the founder of the San Francisco Normal School, a preparatory school for teachers which eventually became San Francisco State University. He entered the University of California at Davis at the age of 15. A year later, he transferred to the University of California at Berkeley, where he received his B.S. in Entomology in 1923. Four years later he earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry.

Professional career[edit]

Burk joined the Department of Agriculture in 1929 working in the Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory.[1] In 1939, he joined the Cancer Institute as a senior chemist. He was head of the cytochemistry laboratory when he retired in 1974. He also taught biochemistry at the Cornell University medical school from 1939 to 1941. He was a research master at George Washington University. Burk was a close friend and co-author with Otto Heinrich Warburg.[3] He was a co-developer of the prototype of the Magnetic Resonance Scanner and a co-discoverer of biotin.[1][4] Burk published more than 250 scientific articles in his lifetime.[5] He later became head of the National Cancer Institute's Cytochemistry Sector in 1938, although he is often mistaken as leading the entire facility.

Retirement[edit]

After retiring from the NCI in 1974, Dean Burk remained active. He devoted himself to his opposition to water fluoridation.[6][7] According to Burk "fluoridation is a form of public mass murder."[8] Dean Burk argued on Dutch television against a water fluoridation proposal which was before the Dutch Parliament in the Netherlands.[8] He also published on alternative cancer treatments, notably laetrile.[9]

Recognition[edit]

For his work on photosynthesis, Dean Burk received the Hillebrand Prize in 1952. Dean Burk and Otto Heinrich Warburg discovered the photosynthesis I-quantum reaction that splits CO2 activated by respiration.[10] For his techniques to distinguish between normal cells and those damaged by cancer, Dean Burk was awarded the Gerhard Domagk Prize in 1965.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Associated Press. (1988). Dean Burk, 84, Chemist for Cancer Institute. New York Times.
  2. ^ Lineweaver, H and Burk, D. (1934). "The Determination of Enzyme Dissociation Constants". Journal of the American Chemical Society 56 (3): 658–666. doi:10.1021/ja01318a036. .
  3. ^ Weiterentwicklung der zellphysiologischen Methoden: angewandt auf Krebs, Photosynthese und Wirkungsweise der Röntgenstrahlung: Arbeiten aus den Jahren 1945–1961, (Thieme, Stuttgart 1962) (Trans: Further Developments of Methods in Cellular Physiology applied to Cancer, Photosynthesis and the Effects of X-ray Radiation) Texts in German and English.
  4. ^ I Weisman, L. Bennett, L. Maxwell Sr., M. Woods, and D. Burk (1972)"Recognition of Cancer in vivo by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance", Science 178, 1288 – 1290.
  5. ^ Burk D, Schade AL. On respiratory impairment in cancer cells. Science. 1956 Aug 10;124(3215):270-2.
  6. ^ J Yiamouyiannis, D Burk "Fluoridation and cancer, age-dependence of cancer mortality related to artificial fluoridation" Fluoride 1977.
  7. ^ Consummer Health Articles: FLUORIDATION
  8. ^ a b 619 F. 2d 932 – Yiamouyiannis v. Consumers Union of United States Inc
  9. ^ Burk, D. (1970). Laetrile and Cancer. Science News.
  10. ^ Otto Warburg - Biography - Nobelprize.org
  11. ^ "Dean Burk, 84, Chemist for Cancer Institute". The New York Times. October 10, 1988.