Floyd A. Beckford

Floyd BeckfordFloyd A. Beckford

Van Daniel III Endowed Chair in Chemistry

E-mail: fab5b@uvawise.edu
Phone: 276.376.4657
Office: 235 Leonard Sandridge Science Center

Education

  • B.S. (Hons) in Chemistry, University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica, 1990
  • PhD in Chemistry, 1994, Inorganic Chemistry, University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica

Courses Taught

  • General Chemistry I and lab
  • General Chemistry II and lab
  • Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry I

Research Interests

Our major research focus is in the area of inorganic medicinal chemistry. The goal of the research is to synthesize and characterize new metal complexes based primarily on ruthenium, copper, zinc, vanadium, manganese and gallium. Furthermore, we try to establish their biophysical and biochemical reactivity by examining the interaction with biological macromolecules.  We use DNA as our primary nucleic acid and we use models such as ubiquitin and human serum albumin to probe the potential to interact with proteins. Furthermore, we collaborate internally and externally, to investigate the biological activity – anticancer and antimicrobial – of the complexes. We have a number of projects ongoing.

  1. Ruthenium compounds

One deals with ruthenium organometallic complexes of the type [Ru(arene)(XY)Cl]n+ where “arene” = p-cymene, benzene, hexamethylbenzene, mesitylene or 1,4,7-trithiacyclononane (9aneS3). In these complexes, we use a variety of ligand (XY) types: we currently focus on thiosemicarbazones, curcuminoids, chalcones and a combination of these. Thiosemicarbazones have a versatile range of biological effects such as antiviral, antineoplastic and anticancer properties, and we look to see improved biological activity by coupling with the organometallic ruthenium moiety.  Curcuminoids are analogs of curcumin. Curcumin is an important natural phytochemical and it possesses a variety of remarkable pharmacological activity including anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-oxidant activity and even anti-amyloid activity. Synthetic curcuminoids are believed to be more potent anti-carcinostatic agents. Chalcones are also biologically active natural products and we believe their biologically behavior can be modified by ligation to a metal center. These natural compounds therefore seem to excellent ligand systems for metal complexes and we are particularly interested in the potential synergy to be derived by coupling to a ruthenium organometallic fragment.

This project also included a component considering multinuclear complexes. We study trinuclear such as those shown below as well as hexanuclear cages based on these trimers. We are interested in using these cages as Trojan horses to carry establish anticancer agents into cells taking advantage of the enhanced permeability and retention effect.

 

  1. Manganese and ruthenium carbon monoxide releasing molecules (CORMs)

We study the ability of manganese and ruthenium carbonyl complexes containing thiosemicarbazone ligands to release carbon monoxide under the influence of radiation. In other words, we examine the potential of these complexes to act as photoCORMs. We have seen that some manganese complexes behave differently when irradiated with different wavelengths of light.

Professional Memberships

  • American Chemical Society
  • Royal Society of Chemistry (Chartered Chemist)
  • Virginia Academy of Sciences
  • Arkansas Academy of Sciences

Awards

  • The Harrison Award for Academic Contribution, 2015
  • Lyon College professor of the Year, 2009-2010

Selected Publications

(Undergraduate authors are underlined and undergraduate presenters are asterisked)

Floyd A. Beckford and Kelsey R. Webb, “Copper complexes containing thiosemicarbazones derived from 6-nitropiperonal: antimicrobial and biophysical properties”. Spectrochimica Acta, Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, 2017, 183, 158 – 171. DOI:10.1016/j.saa.2017.04.057
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S138614251730327X

Floyd A. Beckford, Alyssa Brock, Antonio Gonzalez-Sarrías, Navindra P. Seeram, “Cytotoxic gallium complexes containing thiosemicarbazones derived from 9-anthraldehyde: Molecular docking with biomolecules.” Journal of Molecular Structure 2016, 1121, 155-166 (DOI: 10.1016/j.molstruc.2016.05.075.) NIHMS791091
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022286016305191 

Floyd A. Beckford, Alyssa Stott, P. Canisius Mbarushimana, Marc-Andre LeBlanc, Kinsey Hall, Samantha Smith, Jimmie Bullock, Dennis Houghton, Alvin Holder, Nikolay Gerasimchuk, Antonio Gonzalez-Sarrías and Navindra P. Seeram, “Anticancer, biophysical and computational investigations of half-sandwich ruthenium(II) thiosemicarbazone complexes: The effect of arene versus thiacrown face-cap.” Interdiscip J Chem, 2016, 1(1): 1-15 (DOI: 10.15761/IJC.1000101)
http://www.oatext.com/pdf/IJC-1-101.pdf

Floyd A. Beckford, Alyssa Stott, Antonio González-Sarrías and Navindra P. Seeram, “Novel microwave synthesis of half-sandwich [(6-C6H6)Ru]complexes and an evaluation of the biological activity and biochemical reactivity”. Appl. Organometal. Chem. 2013, 27, 425–434 (DOI:10.1002/aoc.3007)
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aoc.3007/epdf

Nerissa A. Lewis, Fang Liu, Luke Seymour, Anthony Magnusen, Travis R. Erves, Jessa Faye Arca, Floyd A. Beckford, Ramaiyer Venkatraman, Antonio González-Sarrías, Frank R. Fronczek, Don G. VanDerveer, Navindra P. Seeram, Aimin Liu, William L. Jarrett and Alvin A. Holder. “Synthesis, characterization and preliminary in vitro studies of vanadium(IV) complexes with a Schiff base and thiosemicarbazones as mixed-ligands”. Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2012, 4, 664 – 677. (DOI:10.1002/ejic.201100898)
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejic.201100898/epdf

 Floyd A. Beckford, Jeffery Thessing, Alyssa Stott, Alvin A Holder, Oleg Poluektov, Liya Li and Navindra P. Seeram. “Anticancer activity and biophysical reactivity of copper complexes of
2-(benzo[d][1,3]dioxol-5-ylmethylene)-N-alkylhydrazinecarbothioamides
.” Inorg. Chem. Commun. 2012, 15, 225 – 229. (DOI:10.1016/j.inoche.2011.10.032). PMC3579949
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23440300

Floyd A. Beckford, Marc-Andre LeBlanc, P. Canisius Mbarushimana, Antonio González-Sarrías and Navindra P. Seeram. “Coordination chemistry of polyaromatic thiosemicarbazones. 2. Synthesis and biological activity of zinc, cobalt and copper complexes of 1-(naphthalene-2-yl)ethanonethiosemicarbazone.” International Journal of Inorganic Chemistry Volume 2011, Article ID 624756 (DOI:10.1155/2011/624756).PMC3269312.
http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijic/2011/624756/

Floyd A. Beckford, Michael Shaloski, Jr., Jeffrey Thessing, Jason Woods, Diedra Dourth, Jacob Didion, Vernon Crowell, Nikolay Gerasimchuk, Antonio Gonzalez-Sarrías and Navindra P. Seeram. “Half-sandwich ruthenium-arene complexes with thiosemicarbazones: Synthesis and biological evaluation of [(h6-p-cymene)Ru(piperonal thiosemicarbazones)Cl]Cl”. J. Inorg. Biochem. 2011, 105, 1019 – 1029  (DOI: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2011.04.008) PMC3111060
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21666776

Floyd A. Beckford, Jeffrey Thessing, Michael Shaloski, Jr., P. Canisius Mbarushimana, Alyssa Brock, Jacob Didion, Jason Woods, Antonio González-Sarrías and Navindra P. Seeram. “Synthesis and characterization of mixed-ligand diimine-piperonal thiosemicarbazone complexes of ruthenium(II): Biophysical investigations and biological evaluation as anticancer and antibacterial agents.” J. Mol. Struct. 2011, 992, 39 – 47. PMC3086094.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21552381

Floyd A. Beckford, Jeffrey Thessing, Jason Woods, Jacob Didion, Nikolay Gerasimchuk, Antonio González-Sarrías and Navindra P. Seeram. “Synthesis and structure of [(η6-p-cymene)Ru(2-anthracen-9-ylmethylene-N-ethylhydrazinecarbothioamide)Cl]Cl;biological evaluation, topoisomerase II inhibition and reaction with DNA and human serum albumin”. Metallomics, 2011, 3(5), 491 – 502. PMCID:PMC3271380
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21347491

RECENT PRESENTATIONS (Oral)

Beckford, F.A., Madison Niece*, “Polynuclear inorganic and organometallic complexes of ruthenium and their biological activity”. Presentation at the COPLAC Southeast Regional Undergraduate Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity Conference, University of Virginia’s college at Wise, April 21-22, 2017.

Beckford, F.A. and Madison Niece, “Trinuclear ruthenium complexes with diimine ligands: Experimental and computational investigations of biological activity.”  Paper number: INOR 620. Presentation at the 253rd ACS National Meeting & Exposition, San Francisco, CA, April 2 – 6, 2017.

Beckford, F.A., Daria Blach*, “Synthesis, Characterization, and Study of the Interactions with DNA of Ruthenium (II) Polypyridyl Complexes with Ferrocenyl Thiosemicarbazones.” Presentation at the COPLAC Southeast Regional Undergraduate Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity Conference Georgia College & State University, April 22-23, 2016

Beckford, F.A., Kelsey Webb*, “Synthesis, Characterization, and DNA reactivity of Half-Sandwich Ruthenium Complexes Containing Ferrocene Curcuminoid Ligands.” Presentation at NCUR 30, University of North Carolina, Asheville, April 7-9, 2016.

Beckford, F.A., Bailey Helbert*, “Experimental and computational studies of zinc curcuminoid complexes with duplex and quadruplex DNA.” Presentation at NCUR 30, University of North Carolina, Asheville, April 7-9, 2016.

Beckford, F.A., Daria Blach*, “Synthesis, Characterization, and Study of the Interactions with DNA of Ruthenium (II) Polypyridyl Complexes with Ferrocenyl Thiosemicarbazones.” Presentation at the 10th Annual Student Research Symposium co-sponsored by The University of Virginia’s College at Wise and Emory and Henry College. April 2016.

Beckford, F.A., Daria Blach*, “Synthesis, characterization, and study of the interactions with DNA of ruthenium (II) polypyridyl complexes with ferrocenyl thiosemicarbazones (Paper number: CHED 88). Presentation at the 251st ACS National Meeting & Exposition, San Diego, CA, March 13-17, 2016.

Beckford, F.A., Kelsey Webb*. “Copper Complexes and Their Biological Behavior”. Presentation at the 9th Annual Student Research Symposium co-sponsored by The University of Virginia’s College at Wise and Emory and Henry College. April 2015.

Beckford, F.A*, Kinsey Hall, Kelsey Webb. “Biochemical and molecular modelling studies of the interaction of organometallic ruthenium complexes containing thiosemicarbazones or curcuminoids as ligands with DNA and proteins”. Presentation at the 249th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Denver, March 2015 (Paper #: INOR 438)

Beckford, F.A., Shylene A. Scott, Kinsey Hall*, “Synthesis, characterization and initial biophysical reactivity of ruthenium complexes containing curcuminoid ligands”. Presentation at the 8th Annual Student Research Symposium co-sponsored by The University of Virginia’s College at Wise and Emory and Henry College. April 2014.

Beckford, F.A.*, Shylene. A. Scott, Kinsey Hall, Samantha Smith, “Exploring the coordination chemistry of curcuminoids: Synthesis and biophysical reactivity.” Presentation at the 2013 Virginia Academy of Science, Virginia Tech, May 2013.

Beckford, F.A.*, Shylene Scott, Jonathan Dannatt, Raoul Noumbissi-Siewe, Eamon Olwell. “Curcuminoids as ligands in half-sandwich organometallic ruthenium piano-stool complexes: Synthesis and biophysical reactivity”. Presentation at the 245th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, New Orleans, April 2013 (Paper #: INOR 21)

Beckford, F.A., “Developing Pharmaceutical Agents: Metal Complexes With Thiosemicarbazones As Ligands”.  Presented North East Tennessee Section of the American Chemical Society, February 28, 2013, Kingsport, TN. (Invited presentation)

RECENT PRESENTATIONS (Posters)

Nicholas England, Ryan Huish, Floyd Beckford, Robin Woodard, Tre Mullins*, “Analysis of active antimicrobial compounds found in the tongan medicinal plant syzygium corynocarpum”. Presentation at NCUR 2017, University of Memphis, April 6-8, 2017

Beckford, F.A., Madison Niece*, “Polynuclear inorganic and organometallic complexes of ruthenium and their biological activity”. Paper number: CHED 1044. Presentation at the 253rd ACS National Meeting & Exposition, San Francisco, CA, April 2 – 6, 2017.

Beckford, F.A., Kelsey Webb*, “Synthesis, characterization, and DNA reactivity of half-sandwich ruthenium complexes containing ferrocene curcuminoid ligands”. Paper number: CHED 1044. Presentation at the 251st ACS National Meeting & Exposition, San Diego, CA, March 13-17, 2016.

Beckford, F.A., Bailey Helbert*, “Experimental and computational studies of zinc curcuminoid complexes with duplex and quadruplex DNA”. Paper number: CHED 1043. Presentation at the 251st ACS National Meeting & Exposition, San Diego, CA, March 13-17, 2016.

Beckford, F.A., Madison Niece*, “Polynuclear Organometallic and Inorganic Ruthenium Complexes.” Presentation at NCUR 30, University of North Carolina, Asheville, April 7-9, 2016.

Beckford, F.A., Daria Blach*, “Synthesis, Characterization, and Study of the Interactions with DNA of Ruthenium (II) Polypyridyl Complexes with Ferrocenyl Thiosemicarbazones.” Presentation at NCUR 30, University of North Carolina, Asheville, April 7-9, 2016.

Beckford, F.A., Kelsey Webb*, “Synthesis, Characterization, and DNA reactivity of Half-Sandwich Ruthenium Complexes Containing Ferrocene Curcuminoid Ligands.” Poster presentation at the 10th Annual Student Research Symposium co-sponsored by The University of Virginia’s College at Wise and Emory and Henry College, April 2016.

Beckford, F.A., Madison Niece*, “Polynuclear Organometallic and Inorganic Ruthenium Complexes.” Poster presentation at the 10th Annual Student Research Symposium co-sponsored by The University of Virginia’s College at Wise and Emory and Henry College, April 2016.

Beckford, F.A., Bailey Helbert*, Samantha Smith, Kelsey Webb. “Curcuminoids as Ligands in Zinc and Vanadium complexes: Synthesis and Biophysical Reactivity”. Presentation at the 9th Annual Student Research Symposium co-sponsored by The University of Virginia’s College at Wise and Emory and Henry College. April 2015.

Beckford, F.A., Kelsey Webb*, Bailey Helbert. “Synthesis and characterization of copper-thiosemicarbazone complexes: Interaction with DNA and anti-oxidant behavior”. Presentation at the 249th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Denver, March 2015 (Paper #: CHED 839)

Beckford, F.A., Bailey Helbert*, Samantha Smith, Kelsey Webb. “Curcuminoids as ligands in zinc and vanadium complexes: Synthesis and biophysical reactivity”. Presentation at the 249th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Denver, March 2015 (Paper #: CHED 840)

Beckford, F.A., Kelsey Webb*, “Synthesis and characterization of copper-thiosemicarbazone complexes and their anti-oxidant behavior.” Presentation at the 8th Annual Student Research Symposium co-sponsored by The University of Virginia’s College at Wise and Emory and Henry College. April 2014.

Beckford, F.A., Shylene Scott, Kinsey Hall*. “Synthesis, characterization and initial biophysical reactivity of [(h6-(C6H6)Ru(curcuminoid)Cl] complexes”. Presentation at the 245th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, New Orleans, April 2013 (Paper #: CHED 700)

Beckford, F.A., Shylene. A. Scott, Kinsey Hall, Samantha Smith*, “Synthesis, characterization, and initial biophysical reactivity of [ɳ6-(C6H6)Ru(curcuminoid)Cl] complexes”. Presentation at the 2013 joint University of Virginia’s College at Wise and Emory and Henry College Undergraduate Research Symposium.