Turlik, Aneta


Contact Information

Young Hall 4015A

Short Biography

Aneta Turlik obtained her B.A. in Biochemistry from Barnard College in 2013, and her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Yale University in 2019, where she worked predominantly on the total synthesis of natural products. Since 2019, she has been a postdoctoral fellow in the Houk group at UCLA, and is currently also teaching organic chemistry at UCLA. 


Aneta Turlik was born in Bialystok, Poland, and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from Stuyvesant High School, she began her undergraduate studies at Barnard College. There, she worked in the laboratory of Professor Christian Rojas, performing research on amidoglycosylation reactions. In addition, she served as a teaching assistant for courses like organic chemistry.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree, Aneta began her graduate studies at Yale University as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow in the group of Professor Timothy Newhouse. There, she completed the total synthesis of a complex diterpenoid natural product called principinol D. She also worked on the development of palladium catalysis for α,β-dehydrogenation reactions, as well as the synthesis and structural revision of justicioside E aglycone. During this time, Aneta served as a teaching fellow for multiple courses, and completed the Yale Certificate of College Teaching Preparation.
After finishing her Ph.D., Aneta joined the group of Professor Ken Houk as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, where she is applying computational chemistry to study the mechanisms of stereoselective reactions using density functional theory. She is currently also teaching organic chemistry as a part-time lecturer. 

Honors & Awards

  • National Institutes of Health F32 Postdoctoral Fellowship (2021 - present)
  • Yale Certificate of College Teaching Preparation (2019)
  • T.F. Cooke Teaching Award (2018)
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2014 - 2017)
  • Summa Cum Laude (2013)
  • Phi Beta Kappa (2012)


  • Turlik, A.; Houk, K. N.; Svatunek, D. “Origin of Increased Reactivity in Rhenium-Mediated Cycloadditions of Tetrazines.” J. Org. Chem. 2021, DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.1c01564.
  • Mackey, P.;† Turlik, A.;† Ando, K.; Light, M.; Houk, K. N.; McGlacken, G. “Stereoselective Installation of Five Contiguous Stereogenic Centers in a Double Aldol-Tishchenko Cascade and Evaluation of the Key Transition State through DFT Calculation.” Org. Lett. 2021, 23, 6372. DOI: 10.1021/acs.orglett.1c02179
  • Turlik, A.; Ando, K.; Mackey, P.; Alcock, E.; Light, M.; McGlacken, G. P.; Houk, K. N. “Mechanism and Origins of Stereoselectivity of the Aldol-Tishchenko Reaction of Sulfinimines.” J. Org. Chem. 2021, 86, 4296. DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.0c02862
  • Bodnar, A. K.; Turlik, A.; Huang, D.; Butcher, W.; Lew, J. K.; Newhouse, T. R. “Preparation of Hindered Aniline CyanH and Application in the Allyl-Ni-Catalyzed α,β-Dehydrogenation of Carbonyls.” Org. Synth. 2021, 98, 263. DOI: 10.15227/orgsyn.098.0263.
  • Li, B.; Tang, H.; Turlik, A.; Wan, Z.; Xue, X.; Li, L; Yang, X.; He, G.; Houk, K. N.; Chen, G. “Cooperative Stapling of Native Peptides at Lysine with Formaldehyde.” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021, 60, 2, 6646. DOI: 10.1002/anie.202016267.
  • Bogart, J.;† Kramer, N.;† Turlik, A.; Bleich, R.; Catlin, D.; Schroeder, F.; Nair, S.; Williamson, R.; Houk, K.; Bowers, A. “Interception of the Bycroft–Gowland Intermediate in the Enzymatic Macrocyclization of Thiopeptides.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 142, 13170. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.0c05639.
  • Debrauwer, V.;† Turlik, A;† Rummler, L.; Blanchard, N.; Houk, K. N.; Bizet, V. “Ligand-Controlled Regiodivergent Palladium-Catalyzed Hydrogermylation of Ynamides.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 142, 11153. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.0c03556.
  • Sun, D. L.; Poddar, S.; Pan, R. D.; Rosser, E. W.; Abt, E. R.; Van Valkenburgh, J.; Le, T.M.; Lok, V.; Hernandez, S. P.; Song, J.; Li, J.; Turlik, A.; Chen, X.; Cheng, C.-A.; Chen, W.; Mona, C. E.; Stuparu, A. D.; Vergnes, L.; Reue, K.; Damoiseaux, R.; Zink, J. I.; Czernin, J.; Donahue, T. R.; Houk, K. N.; Jung, M. E.; Radu, C. G. “Isoquinoline thiosemicarbazone displays potent anticancer activity with in vivo efficacy against aggressive leukemias.” RSC Med. Chem. 2020, 11, 392. DOI: 10.1039/c9md00594c.
  • Turlik, A.; Chen, Y.; Scruse, A. C.; Newhouse, T. R. “Convergent Total Synthesis of Principinol D, a Rearranged Kaurane Diterpenoid.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 8088. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b03751.
  • Elkin, M.;† Scruse, A. C.;† Turlik, A.; Newhouse, T. R. “Computational and Synthetic Investigation of Cationic Rearrangement in the Putative Biosynthesis of Justicane Triterpenoids.” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 1025. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201810566.
  • Turlik, A.; Chen, Y.; Newhouse, T. R. “Dehydrogenation Adjacent to Carbonyls Using Pd-Allyl Intermediates.” Synlett 2016, 27, 331. DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1561282.
  • Chen, Y.; Turlik, A.; Newhouse, T. R. “Amide α,β-Dehydrogenation Using Allyl-Palladium Catalysis Accelerated by a Sterically Hindered Monodentate Anilide.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 1166. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b12924.