Dr. Scott Handy

Professor

Dr. Scott Handy
(615) 904-8814
Room 3026, Science Building (SCI)
MTSU Box 68, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information

  • Ph.D., Indiana University, Bloomington (1996)
  • B.S., University of Iowa (1991)

Areas of Expertise

My basic area of research interest is Organic Synthesis. Within this broad area, I have two areas under active investigation: deep eutectic solvents and the exploration of aurones as biologically active natural product analogs.

Deep eutectic solvents (DES) are extreme examples of a very common phenomenon - melting point depression. It is well known that a mixture of two compounds will exhibit a melting point depression compared to each individual pure compound. In most cases, thi...

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My basic area of research interest is Organic Synthesis. Within this broad area, I have two areas under active investigation: deep eutectic solvents and the exploration of aurones as biologically active natural product analogs.

Deep eutectic solvents (DES) are extreme examples of a very common phenomenon - melting point depression. It is well known that a mixture of two compounds will exhibit a melting point depression compared to each individual pure compound. In most cases, this depression is only a few degrees. In the case of DES, however, the depression is quite extreme (deep). Thus, the combination of choline chloride (mp >300 C) and urea (mp roughly 128 C) in a 1:2 molar ratio affords a mixture with a melting point around 10 C. Thus, it is a liquid at room temperature. As both starting compounds are inexpensive, non-flammable, and non-toxic, this DES is an appealing solvent alternative. My group has observed that it also can serve as a very mild catalyst for a number of different reactions. We are continuing to explore further applications in organic synthesis as well as other DES that might have additional catalytic activities.

The aurone project features the use of DES to synthesize the aurone framework by the condensation of an aldehyde with a benzofuranone. Aurones themselves have been known to be responsible for the yellow coloration of the flowers of plants with yellow flowers. As a small sub-set of the flavonoids, it is not surprising that they exhibit a wide range of biological activities. At the same time, their low natural abundance has made this potential hard to use. Via synthesis, we have been able to prepare a significant number of new aurone variations (analogs) and, by active collaboration with many faculty in the Biology department, explore activities ranging from anti-microbial and anti-fungal to anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer. Further development of this potential continues as well as extension into the area of materials and dye chemistry.

Compound purification, identification and synthesis

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Biography

I am a Professor of Chemistry at Middle Tennessee State University and an active member of both the Molecular Biosciences PhD program and the Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicinal Research (TCBMR).  I also serve on the coorindating committee for the Mathematics and Science Education PhD program.

I received my undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the University of Iowa in 1991 and completed anti-HIV research with Dr. Vasu Nair while there.

My graduate work was complet...

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I am a Professor of Chemistry at Middle Tennessee State University and an active member of both the Molecular Biosciences PhD program and the Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicinal Research (TCBMR).  I also serve on the coorindating committee for the Mathematics and Science Education PhD program.

I received my undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the University of Iowa in 1991 and completed anti-HIV research with Dr. Vasu Nair while there.

My graduate work was completed at Indiana University under the direction of Dr. Paul Grieco studying usual catalytic effects of highly concentrated solutions of lithium salts in organic solvents (thus beginning my interest in unusual solvents).

From there, I completed an NIH Post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University in the labs of Dr. Paul Wender studying diversity-oriented libraries of potential PKC activators and gaining considerable experience in conducting biological assays - work which has well prepared me for my highly collaborative efforts at MTSU.

My first academic appointment was at Binghamton University, before moving to MTSU in 2005.

Through it all, I have enjoyed music (particularly singing), bicycling, and gardening.  Diversity of interests helps to keep me sane!

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Publications

Publications since 2010 (* indicates undergraduate co-author):

  1. Gheda, A.; Almosnid, N.; Hawkins, I.; Taylor, Z.E.; Knott, D.L.; Jamdu, S.T.; Altman, E.; Gao, Y.  Evaluation of Fourteen Aurone Derivatives as Potential Anti-Cancer Agents.  Curr. Pharm. Biotech.  2017, 18, 384-390.
  2. Sutton, C.L.; Taylor, Z.E.; Farone, M.B.; Handy, S.T.  “Antifungal activity of substituted aurones.”  Bioorg. & ...
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Publications since 2010 (* indicates undergraduate co-author):

  1. Gheda, A.; Almosnid, N.; Hawkins, I.; Taylor, Z.E.; Knott, D.L.; Jamdu, S.T.; Altman, E.; Gao, Y.  Evaluation of Fourteen Aurone Derivatives as Potential Anti-Cancer Agents.  Curr. Pharm. Biotech.  2017, 18, 384-390.
  2. Sutton, C.L.; Taylor, Z.E.; Farone, M.B.; Handy, S.T.  “Antifungal activity of substituted aurones.”  Bioorg. & Med. Chem. Lett.  2017, 27, 901-903.
  3. Taylor, K.M.*; Taylor, Z.E.; Handy, S.T. “Rapid synthesis of aurones under mild conditions using a combination of microwaves and deep eutectic solvents.” Tetrahedron Lett. 2017, 58, 240-241.
  4. Park, H.S; Nelson, D.E.; Taylor, Z.E.; Hayes, J.B.; Cunningham, K.D.; Arivett, B.A.; Ghosh, R. Wolf, L.C.; Taylor, K.M.*; Farone, M.B.; Handy, S.T.; Farone, A.L. “Suppression of LPS-induced NF-kB activity in macrophages by the synthetic aurone, (Z)-2-((5-hydroxymethyl)furan-2-yl)methylene) benzofuran-3(@H)-one.” Int. Immunopharm. 2017, 43, 116-128.
  5. Handy, S.T.; Westbrook, N.M.* "A mild synthesis of bis(indolyl)methanes using a deep eutectic solvent." Tetrahedron Lett. 2014, 55, 4969-4971.
  6. Handy, S.T.; Wright, M.* "An acid-free Pictet-Spengler reaction using deep eutectic solvents (DES)." Tetrahedron Lett. 2014, 55, 3440-3442.
  7. Hawkins, I.; Handy, S.T. "Synthesis of aurones under neutral conditions using a deep eutectic solvent." Tetrahedron 2013, 69, 9200-9204.
  8. Handy, S.T.; Lavender, K. "Organic synthesis in deep eutectic solvents: Paal-Knorr reactions." Tetrahedron Lett. 2013, 54, 4377-4379.
  9. Piala, A.; Mayi, D.*; Handy, S.T. "One-pot, Regioselective Double Suzuki Couplings of Dibromoquinolines." Tetrahedron, 2011, 67, 4147-4154.
  10. Bailey L.;* Handy S.T. "Aromatic iodination using N-iodosaccharin in room temperature ionic liquids." Tetrahedron Lett. 2011, 52, 2413-2414.
  11. Bornemann, S.; Handy, S.T. "Organic Electrochemistry in Ionic Liquids: The Viscosity Question." Molecules, 2011, 7, 5962-5974.
  12. Chesak, S.; Handy, S.T. "One-pot Double Suzuki Couplings of 2,4-Dichloropyrimidine." Synthesis, 2010, 2714-2717.

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Awards

  • MTSU Professor Who Made a Difference 2012, 2013, 2014
  • MTSU Special Projects Award, Fall 2011
  • MTSU Distinguished Research Award, Fall 2010
  • Award for Excellence in Publication, College of Basic and Applied Science, MTSU, Fall 2007
  • Honored for Service to Students with Disabilities, Services for Students with Disabilities at Binghamton University, May 2001
  • National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Stanford University, 1997-1999