Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy In Clinical-bioanalytical Chemistry Degree



First Advisor

Boyd, W. Christopher

Second Advisor

Dr. Mekki Bayachou

Third Advisor

Dr. Andrew Resnick


Transition metal complexes have immense importance in the pharmaceutical industry. These types of complexes can be useful catalysts in the synthesis of medicinal compounds and can act as anticancer drugs. In these pharmaceutical applications, 1st-row transition metal-containing complexes offer certain advantages compared to their 2nd and 3rd-row transition metal counterparts. Our motivation was to investigate pharmaceutical applications of transition metal complexes containing both a 1st-row transition metal and unusual ligands to expand the knowledge of a class of complexes that could potentially be beneficial in the pharmaceutical industry. A class of rare ligands that piqued our interest was that of the diaryl azodioxides, cis-Ar(O)NN(O)Ar, which belong to the wider class of organic derivatives of nitric oxide (NO). Our synthesis and pharmaceutical applications of the azodioxide complex salt [Co(bpy){Ph(O)NN(O)Ph}2](PF6)2 have been able to significantly expand the knowledge of azodioxide complexes by displaying an unusual trigonal prismatic coordination geometry for cobalt(II) with only bidentate ligands, showing evidence of ligand-based redox activity, acting as an active catalyst in allylic amination/C-C double-bond transposition reactions, and selectively inducing apoptosis in SK-HEP-1 human liver adenocarcinoma cells. Importantly, catalytic and biological studies of [Co(bpy){Ph(O)NN(O)Ph}2](PF6)2 are ongoing, and focused on its potential for use in the pharmaceutical industry as a drug or catalyst for drug synthesis. Future work will vi involve comparing the catalytic and biological activities of [Co(bpy){Ph(O)NN(O)Ph}2](PF6)2 with other azodioxide complexes prepared by our group to identify structure-activity relationships and inform the design of more efficient catalysts and anti-cancer, pro-apoptotic agents.

Included in

Chemistry Commons