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

The goal of our research is to synthesize and characterize new metal complexes based on ruthenium, copper, zinc, vanadium and gallium, to establish their ability to disrupt cell proliferation and to optimize their ability to interact with biological macro-molecules.  We use DNA as our primary nucleic acid and we investigate the potential of topoisomerase II as an anticancer target for our complexes. We use models such as ubiquitin and human serum albumin to probe the potential to interact with proteins.

My active research is designed to investigate the chemical and biological properties of organometallic and inorganic ruthenium complexes. The organometallic complexes we are interested in are of the type [Ru(arene)(XY)Cl]n+ where “arene” = p-cymene, benzene or 1,4,7-trithiacyclononane (9aneS3). In these complexes we use two classes of ligand (XY): thiosemicarbazones (TSCs) and 1,7-diaryl-l.6-heptadiene-3,5-diones (curcuminoids, CCs).

Thiosemicarbazones have a versatile range of biological effects such as antiviral, antineoplastic and anticancer properties, and we expect to see improved biological activity by coupling with the organometallic ruthenium moiety.  Curcuminoids are, generally speaking, 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. These 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.

The inorganic complexes we study involve polypyridyl complexes of ruthenium
bearing the same two ligand systems; ([(diamine)2Ru(TSC)]2+ or [(diamine)2Ru(CC)]+). In addition, vanadium, copper and zinc complexes of curcuminoids are also currently being studied.

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, 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

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)

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)ethanone
thiosemicarbazone.
” 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

Presentations

Talks

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”. 251st ACS National Meeting & Exposition, San Diego, CA, March 13-17, 2016. (Paper #: CHED 88).

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 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)

Posters

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

Beckford, F.A., Bailey Helbert*, “Experimental and computational studies of zinc curcuminoid complexes with duplex and quadruplex DNA”. 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*, 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., 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)