His research focus is the field of medicinal inorganic chemistry. Specifically, he is interested in the potential of transition metal compounds, particularly those of ruthenium, manganese, zinc and copper, to be used as proto-pharmaceuticals. Their use as agents in anticancer, antibacterial, and anti-diabetic chemotherapy is of primary interest. This is a multidisciplinary process involving chemistry, biology and biochemistry. His teaching interests at Duke Kunshan include inorganic and general chemistry.
Beckford has a B.Sc. (Hons) in chemistry and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Texas A&M University. Before joining Duke Kunshan, he was the Van Daniel Endowed Chair in Chemistry at the University of Virginia’s College, Wise, and previously held faculty positions at Lyon College, Arkansas, and the University of Toledo, Ohio. He was a Fulbright-University of Turku (Finland) Scholar in 2018 and 2019 .
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