Floyd Beckford, a chemist at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, has received the Fulbright-University of Turku Scholar award, a prestigious program that will enable him to conduct research in Finland for nearly five months beginning in August.

Beckford, the Van Daniel III Endowed Chair in Chemistry, said the Fulbright Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the United States and people of other nations. He will have the opportunity to work along with international partners in education, political, cultural, economic and scientific fields. Beckford plans to continue his research in a project titled Glycoconjugation of Organometallic Ruthenium Anticancer Compounds.

The professor is looking forward to his stay in Finland. The University of Turku is located in what was once the capital of Finland, and it remains one of the nation’s largest cities. The university is known for its large enrollment of international students.

The research project seeks to explore the potential use of multinuclear organometallic complexes containing a ruthenium ion as antitumor agents.

“In this regard, sugar-conjugated trinuclear complexes containing different arenes will be synthesized,” Beckford explained. “The interaction of the complexes with bio-macromolecules along with their biological activity will be studied. This type of research is critical to the development of metal-organic complexes as potential pharmaceutical drugs.”

The proposal also contains a teaching component. Beckford will teach one course on bioinorganic and medicinal chemistry at Turku.

“In the medium term, I expect to use this opportunity to bolster the international program at UVa-Wise,” he said. “Specifically, I plan to propose a travel course to Finland in the year following.”

The Fulbright award includes housing, a monthly maintenance allowance, travel allowance and other items. The US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs oversees the Fulbright Program.