Robert's Short Biography

Robert Penchovsky is a full professor of molecular genetics, synthetic biology, and bioinformatics and a head of laboratory of Synthetic Biology and Bioinformatics at the Faculty of Biology of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” , Bulgaria, where he obtained his Master’s degree in biochemistry and molecular genetics, and his аssociate’s degree in applied computer sciences. Robert attended 30th high school in Sofia with extensive learning of German language .

He earned his Doctoral degree in genetics from Cologne University , Germany while researching in the fields of microfluidics and DNA computing for the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft at Schloss Birlinghoven in Sankt Augustin (near Bonn), Germany.

Robert did his postdoctoral study in the fields of computational biology and RNA synthetic biology at Yale University , New Haven, CT, USA.

In addition to that Robert has worked for short periods of time as a software engineer, a

biotech consultant, and a researcher of molecular biology at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Sofia, Bulgaria and at the former Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Jena, Germany (now Leibniz Institute on Aging in Jane , Germany). Robert is a former reserve lieutenant of the Bulgarian Army .

As a research and teaching faculty at Sofia University since 2010, Robert pioneered the teaching and research in synthetic biology and bioinformatics in Bulgaria. Robert's publications have H-index of 16 points. He took part in 20 research projects. Robert is a leading author (the first or the last author) of 97% of his publications and the corresponding author(*) of 92% of them! 87% of all publications have not more than 3 co-authors and 11.4% of them have 4 or 5 co-authors. Only one publication has more than 5 co-authors (1.6%), namely 7. Since his assistant professorship position in 2010, Robert has published 14 papers of various types as a solid author and 40 papers only with my current or former master or doctoral students as co-authors. A list of 1083 citations of Robert's publications without self-citations till the end of 28.10.2023 can be seen here. Robert's publications have an Impact Factor (IF) of 226 points. According to Scopus Robert Penchovsky have 831 citations by 590 documents with H-index of 15 points indexing 43 publications.

In Penchovsky's laboratory, 16 master's students and 6 doctoral students have successfully defended their theses under his solid supervision.

I received an outstanding scientist award from the 7th Edition of International Research Awards on SENSING TECHNOLOGY on August 5th, 2023! I was also acknowledged by an award from the Bulgarian national contest for scientific excellence for researchers of all areas over 35 years old organized by the Union of the Scientists in Bulgaria. My research was awarded for scientific excellence achieved in the fields of synthetic biology, bioinformatics and molecular evolution. The ceremony was held in the aula of Sofia University on November 2nd, 2015. Our recent research publication is an editors' choice of the American Chemical Society and is among the most popular in the ACS Synthetic Biology! Four young scientists working under my supervision on my projects have won 4 awards (1, 2, 3, 4) from 3 national science contests, 1 start-up award, and 2 teacher awards (1 and 2) since 2021, aggregated 7 awards!

Since 2010, the research in Robert Penchovsky's laboratory was supported by 17 grants, for 12 of which Dr. Penchovsky has been a project leader. Prof. Robert Penchovsky has won grants for over 370 000 EUR as a project leader.

Robert is fluent in English and uses German and Russian.

Robert's research keywords: ribozymes, riboswitches, bioinformatics, biosensors, microfluidics, DNA/RNA computing, RNA synthetic biology, and rational drug design.

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