Department of Chemistry

Xavier University of Louisiana

Florastina Payton-Stewart, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Telephone Number: 504-520-7381
Room Number: NCF - Room 305
Email Address:
  • General Chemistry Courses
  • Organic Chemistry Lecture
  • Organic Chemistry Drill
  • Molecular Structure and Organic Synthesis Lab
  • Chemistry in Everyday Life:  Food Chemistry

Short Professional Biography

Dr. Florastina Payton-Stewart received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana in 1999 and her PhD in Bioorganic Chemistry at Tulane University in 2007. After receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Payton-Stewart held a postdoctoral position at Tulane University Medical School from 2007-2010. She is the recipient of various honors, such as the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans Fellowship, the GALA Dissertation Writing Fellowship, the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium Fellowship the Susan G. Komen Postdoctoral Fellowship. She joined the Chemistry department faculty at Xavier University in August 2010.  During her tenure at Xavier University of Louisiana, she has mentored and trained several undergraduate students, technicians, and a postdoctoral fellow on projects related to the biological activity of natural phytoalexins.

Research Interest

Dr. Payton-Stewart's research focuses on identifying novel therapeutics for cancer through the incorporation two discrete disciplines, synthetic chemistry and molecular biology. The Payton-Stewart research projects involves the design, synthesis, characterization, and biological screening of novel anti-cancer agents. The research further involves understanding the molecular mechanism and biological activity of naturally occurring plant phytoalexins and their analogs as they pertain to breast carcinomas.  One major focus of the Payton-Stewart research laboratory is to identify the structural activity relationship (SAR) of synthesize analogs.  This research laboratory designs anti-cancer agents for various forms of cancer such prostate, triple negative breast cancer, endocrine resistant breast cancer and lung cancer.

Current Grant Support

Project/Proposal Title: STEM Educational Engagement (E2) Robert NOYCE Teacher Scholars at Xavier University of Louisiana.


PIs:                                         Rachel Davis-Haley and Florastina Payton-Stewart


Source of Support:              National Science Foundation (NSF)

Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarships Program


Period Covered:                   January 1, 2015-December 31, 2019


The Robert Noyce scholarship program at Xavier University of Louisiana is a student

scholarship program focused increasing the number of highly qualified teachers of

science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at the elementary, middle

and high school level by providing Noyce Scholarships to outstanding junior and senior

biology,chemistry, mathematics, physics, and computer science majors. 



Project/Proposal Title:  PVAMU-XULA-BCM Summer Prostate Cancer Research Program. Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program Collaborative Undergraduate Historically Black Colleges and Universities Student Summer Training Program Award. 


PI:                                           Florastina Payton-Stewart (XULA) and Nancy Weigel (BCM)


Source of Support:              Department of Defense (DOD) 


Period Covered:                   September 1, 2015 – August 31, 2017



The PVAMU-XULA-BCM program is a collaborative program between Prairie View,

A & M University, Xavier University of Louisiana and Baylor College of Medicine.  This

program is a training program preparing our undergraduate minority students for

graduate school and the pursuit of research careers in biomedical fields.  Students from

PVAMU AND XULA engage in summer research at BCM and continue at their home




Project/Proposal Title:  The Development of a Novel Class of Breast Cancer Endocrine Therapeutics Based upon Natural Isoquinoline Alkaloids Structures.


PI:                                           Florastina Payton-Stewart


Source of Support:              Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Pilot grant. 


Period Covered:                   April 1, 2016-March 31, 2017


The major goal of this project is to synthesize a library of analogs of known

isoquinoline alkaloids and evaluate their ability to act as anticancer agents against

various forms of breast cancer using in vitro bioassays.  We will utilize bioassays to

study the structural-activity relationships (SAR) of the analogs and their effect on breast

cancer cells lines. 



Project/Proposal Title: Design, Synthesis and Biological evaluation of Breast Cancer Endocrine Therapeutics.


PI:                                           Florastina Payton-Stewart


Source of Support:              Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium (LCRC) pilot grant 


Period Covered:                   July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017


The major goal of this project is to synthesize a library of analogs of known

phytochemicals and evaluate their ability to act as anticancer agents against

endocrine resistant breast cancer using in vitro bioassays.  We will utilize bioassays to

study the structural-activity relationships (SAR) of the analogs and their effect on

endocrine resistance breast cancer cells lines.  

Recent Publications

Gong, Jingjing, Munoz, Amanda, Pingali, Subramanya, Payton-Stewart, Florastina, Chan, Daniel, Freeman, James, Ghosh, Rita, Kumar, Addanki Pratap.  Downregulation of STAT3/NF-κB potentiates gemcitabine activity in pancreatic cancer cells.   Molecular Carcinogenesis, May 2016. 


Carriere, Patrick, Llopis, D. Shawn, Naiki, Annai, Nguyen, Gina, Phan, Tina , Nguyen, M. Mary, Preyan, C. Lynez,, Yearby, Letecia, Pratt, Jamal, Davenport, Ian, Nguyen, A. Thu, Parker-Lemieux, KiTani, Payton-Stewart, Florastina, Williams, C. Christopher, Boue, M. Stephen, Tilghman, L. Syreeta.  Glyceollin I Reverses Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition in Letrozole Resistance Through ZEB1.  International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 13 (1), 10, 2016. 

Pingali, S,. and Donahue, J.P. and Payton-Stewart, FTetrahydroberberine, a pharmacologically active naturally occurring alkaloid.  Acta Crystallographica Section C71, 262-265, 2015.

Payton-Stewart F, Tilghman SL, Williams LG & Winfield LL. Benzimidazoles diminish

ERE transcriptional activity and cell growth in breast cancer cells, Biochemical and

Biophysical Research Communications, PMID: 24997336, 450, (4), 1358-1362, 2014.


Pingali, S,. and Donahue, J.P. and Payton-Stewart, FWeak C-H->X (X = O, N) Hydrogen Bonds in the Crystal Structure of Dihydroberberine.  Acta Crystallographica Section C70, 388-391, 2014.

Payton-Stewart, F., Pingali, S. and Donahue, J.P.  The chalcone derivative (E)-1-(4-fluorophenyl)-3-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)prop-2-en-1-one monohydrate.  Acta Crystallographica 69E: 558-559, 2013.

Winfield, L.; Payton-Stewart, FCelecoxib and Bcl-2: Emerging Possibilities for Anticancer Drug Design. Future Medicinal Chemistry, 4 (3) 361-383, 2012.

Payton-Stewart, Florastina, Bose, Rumu, Alworth, William, L., Kumar, Addanki, Ghosh, Rita.  4-methylcatechol-Induced Oxidative Stress in Metastatic Melanoma Cells Leads to Intrinsic Apoptotic Pathway.  Biochemical Pharmacology 81 (10): 1211-1218, 2011.

Payton-Stewart*, Florastina, Jiang*, Quan, Elliott, Steven,  Driver, Jennifer,  Zhang, Qiang, Zheng,  Shilong,  Bhatnagar, Deepak , Boue, M. Stephen,  Wiese, E. Thomas, Burow, E. Matthew, Wang , Guangdi.   Effects of 7-O Substitutions on Estrogenic and Anti-Estrogenic Activities of Daidzein Analogues in MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells.  J. Med. Chemistry 53 (16): 6153-6163, 2010.

Payton-Stewart, Florastina, Boue, M. Stephen, Elliott, Steven, Zimmerman, Carla M.,  Skripnikova, Elena V., Ashe, Hasina, Tilghman, Syreeta L., Beckman, Barbara S., McLachlan, John A., Bhatnagar, Deepak, Wiese, Thomas E., Erhardt, Paul, Burow, Matthew E.  Glyceollin I enantiomers distinctly regulate ER-mediated gene expression.  Steroids 75 (12): 870-878, 2010.

Zimmermann, C., Tilghman, S., Boue, S., Salvo, V.A., Elloitt, S., Williams, K., Skripnikova, E.V., Ashe, H., Payton-Stewart, F., Vanhoy-Rhodes, L., Fonseca, J.P., Corbitt, C., Collins-Burow, B., Howell, M., Lacey, M., Shih, B., Carter-Wientjes, C., Cleveland, T., McLachlan, J., Wiese, T., Beckman, B., Burow, M.E.  Glyceollin I, a novel anti-estrogen phytoalexin isolated from activated soy.  J Pharmacol Experimental Therapeutics 332 (1): 35-45, 2010.

Payton-Stewart, F., Schoene, N., Kim, Y., Burow, M.E., Cleveland, T., Boue, S., and Wang, T.  Molecular effects of soy phytoalexins glyceollin in human prostate cancer cells, LNCaP.  Molecular Carcinogenesis 48 (9): 862-71, 2009.

Boue, S., Tilghman, S., Elloitt, S., Zimmerman, C., Williams, KY, Payton-Stewart, F., Miraflor, A., Howell, M., Shih, BY, Carter-Wientjes, CH, Segar, C., Beckman, BS., Wiese, TE., Cleveland, T., McLachlan, J., and Burow, ME.  Identification of the potent phytoestrogen glycinol in elicited soybean (Glycine max).  Endocrinology 150 (5): 2446-53, 2008.

Payton, Florastina, Sandusky, Peter, and Alworth, William.  Curcumin: An NMR Study.  Journal of Natural Products 70 (2), 143-146, 2007.

Department of Chemistry