Home / The University / Faculties / Faculty of Biology / Structures / Departments / Cytology, Histology and Embryology / Lecturers / Corr.-member Prof. Roumen Pankov, Dr Habil


Room 305
Phone: (+359 2) 8167 274
E-mail: rpankov@biofac.uni-sofia.bg

Office address 8 Dragan Tzankov blvd, 1164 Sofia, Bulgaria
Occupation Professor of Cell Biology
Main activities and responsibilities Training and assessment of students; Development of new courses; Training of graduates and PhD students; Research, preparation and implementation of national and international scientific and educational projects.

Teaching experience


1988 – 1994 Assistant Professor at the Department of Cytology, Histology and Embryology

1994 – 2006 Associate Professor (same Department)

2006 – Professor (same Department)

Courses "Cytology" (compulsory) for 1st year graduate students, specialties Molecular Biology and Biotechnology;
"Cytology" (compulsory№ for 1st year graduate students, specialties Ecology and Environmental Protection and Bio-management and Sustainable Development;
"Animal Cell Cultures and Hybridoma Techniques" (compulsory) for 4th year graduate students, Biotechnology specialty;
"Stem Cells" (compulsory) for Masters of Cell Biology and Pathology and Developmental Biology;
"Cell border complex and intercellular interactions" (compulsory) for masters of Cell Biology and Pathology
Education and Training

2012 – Corresponding member of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

2005 – Doctor Habil “Novel structural and signaling functions of integrin α5β1”, SSC Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry
1997 - 2004 - Visiting and Staff Scientist at NIDCR, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

1992-1993 - Post doctoral training, La Jolla Cancer Research Institute (currently The Burnham Institute), La Jolla, California, USA

1990-1991 - Post doctoral training, The Weizmann Institute of Sciences, Rehovot, Israel
1986-1988 - Post doctoral training, Cancer Research Center, Quebec, Canada
1986 - Ph.D., Molecular and Cell Biology, Institute of Molecular Biology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. “Vertebrate liver cytokeratins – changes in the course of evolution”

Selected publications


  1. Ivanova S., Chakarov, S., Momchilova A., Pankov, R. Live-cell biosensor for assessment of adhesion qualities of biomaterials, Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl. 2017 Sep 1;78:230-238.
  2. Evangelatov A, Skrobanska R, Mladenov N, Petkova M, Yordanov G, Pankov R. Epirubicin loading in poly(butyl cyanoacrylate) nanoparticles manifests via altered intracellular localization and cellular response in cervical carcinoma (HeLa) cells. Drug Deliv. 2016 Sep;23(7):2235-2244.
  3. Skrobanska, R., Evangelatov, A., Stefanova, N., Topouzova‐Hristova, T., Momchilova, A., & Pankov, R. Cell proliferation in in vivo‐like three‐dimensional cell culture is regulated by sequestration of ERK1/2 to lipid rafts. Cell proliferation.47(4), 336-346, 2014.
  4. Momchilova, A., Petkova, D., Staneva, G., Markovska, T., Pankov, R., Skrobanska, R Nikolova-Karakashian,M. & Koumanov, K.. Resveratrol alters the lipid composition, metabolism and peroxide level in senescent rat hepatocytes. Chemico-biological interactions, 207, 74-80, 2014
  5. Staneva, G., Petkova, D., Hazarosova, R., Georgieva, R., Pankov, R., Skrobanska, R., & Momchilova, A. Intake of Xylooligosaccharides Alters the Structural Organization of Liver Plasma Membrane Bilayer. Food Biophysics, 9(2), 138-144, 2014.
  6. Petkova, R., Arabadjiev, B., Chakarov, S., & Pankov, R. Current state of the opportunities for derivation of germ-like cells from pluripotent stem cells: are you a man, or a mouse? Biotechnology & Biotechnological Equipment, 28(2), 184-191, 2014.
  7. Aleksandar Evangelatov and Roumen Pankov The Evolution of Three-Dimensional Cell Cultures Towards Unimpeded Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering, Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering, Prof. Jose A. Andrades (Ed.), (2013). ISBN: 978-953-51-1108-5, InTech, DOI: 10.5772/55564.
  8. Angelova P., Momchilova A., Petkova D., Staneva G., Pankov R., Kamenov, Z., Testosterone replacement therapy improves erythrocyte membrane lipid composition in hypogonadal men, The Aging Male, 15(3), 173-179, 2012
  9. Петкова Р., Чакъров С., Панков Р., Стволови клетки, 2012, Академично издателство „Проф. Марин Дринов” ISBN 978 954 322 517 0, второ издание 2014 год., ISBN 978-954-322-798-3
  10. Arabadjiev В, Petkova R, Momchilova A, Chakarov S, Pankov R. Of mice and men – differential mechanisms of maintaining the undifferentiated state in mESC and hESC. Biodiscovery 2012; 3: 1; DOI: 10.7750/BioDiscovery.2012.3.1
  11. Staneva G, Lupanova T, Chachaty C, Petkova D, Koumanov K, Pankov R, Momchilova A. Structural organization of plasma membrane lipids isolated from cells cultured as a monolayer and in tissue-like conditions. J Colloid Interface Sci. Jul 1;359(1):202-9, 2011
  12. Pankov R and Momchilova A., Cell Adhesions and Signaling – a Tool for Biocompatibility Assessment, In: NATO Science for Peace and Security Series A: Chemistry and Biology, p. 1-20, Springer Verlag, Edd. Shastri V., and Altankov, G., 2010
  13. Arabadjiev B, Petkova R, Chakarov S, Momchilova, A and Pankov R., Do we need more human embryonic stem cell lines?, Biotechnology & Biotechnological Equipment, 24(3),1921-1927, 2010
  14. Lupanova T, Stefanova N, Petkova D, Staneva G, Jordanova A, Koumanov K, Pankov R, Momchilova A., Alterations in the content and physiological role of sphingomyelin in plasma membranes of cells cultured in three-dimensional matrix, Mol Cell Biochem., 340 (1-2), 215-222, 2010
  15. Stefanova N, Staneva G, Petkova D, Lupanova T, Pankov R, Momchilova A. Cell culturing in a three-dimensional matrix affects the localization and properties of plasma membrane cholesterol, Cell Biol Int. Oct;33(10):1079-86, 2009.
  16. Jordanova A, Stefanova N, Staneva G, Pankov R, Momchilova A, Lalchev Z. Surface properties and behavior of lipid extracts from plasma membranes of cells cultured as monolayer and in tissue-like conditions, Cell Biochem Biophys. 54(1-3):47-55, 2009.
  17. Green JA, Berrier AL, Pankov R, Yamada KM., Beta1 integrin cytoplasmic domain residues selectively modulate fibronectin matrix assembly and cell spreading through talin and Akt-1. J Biol Chem. Mar 20;284(12):8148-59, 2009
  18. Pankov R and Momchilova A., Fluorescent labeling techniques for investigation of fibronectin fibrillogenesis, Sharona Even-Ram and Vira Artym (eds.), Methods Mol Biol.522:261-74, Humana Press, 2009
  19. Damianova R, Stefanova N, Cukierman E and Momchilova A, Pankov R, Three-dimensional matrix induces sustained activation of ERK1/2 via Src/Ras/Raf signaling pathway, Cell Biol International, 32:229-34, 2008
  20. Lazarov S, Yanev E, Momchilova A, Markovska T, Ivanova L, Pankov R. Alterations of the composition and metabolism of pulmonary surfactant phospholipids induced by experimental peritonitis in rats. Chem Biol Interact. Aug 30;169(2):73-9, 2007
  21. Valtcheva-Sarker R, Stephanova E, Hristova K, Altankov G, Momchilova A, Pankov R., Halothane affects focal adhesion proteins in the A 549 cells, Mol Cell Biochem. Jan;295(1-2):59-64, 2007
  22. Pankov R, Markovska T, Antonov P, Ivanova L, Momchilova A. The plasma membrane lipid composition affects fusion between cells and model membranes. Chem Biol Interact. 2006 Dec 15;164(3):167-73. Epub 2006 Nov 13. PMID: 17098217
  23. Roumen Pankov, Tania Markovska, Peter Antonov, Lidia Ivanova and Albena Momchilova, Influence of the membrane phospholipid composition and structural organization on the spontaneous lipid transfer between membranes., Gen. Physiol. Biophys., 25, 313-324, 2006
  24. Yukinori Endo, Sharona-Even Ram, Roumen Pankov, Kazue Matsumoto, and Kenneth M. Yamada, Inhibition of Rho GTPases by RNA Interfere, Methods Enzymol ., 406:345-61. 2006
  25. Roumen Pankov, Tania Markovska, Rusina Hazarosova, Peter Antonov, Lidia Ivanova, Albena Momchilova, Cholesterol distribution in plasma membranes of b1 integrin-expressing and b1 integrin- deficient fibroblasts, Archives of Biochem. Biophys. 442: 160-168, 2005
  26. Roumen Pankov, Yukinori Endo, Sharona Even-Ram, Masaru Araki, Katherine Clark Edna Cukierman, Kazue Matsumoto, and Kenneth M. Yamada, A Rac Switch Regulates Random versus Directionally Persistent Cell Migration, J Cell Biol. 170: 793-802, 2005
  27. Roumen Pankov and Katherine Clark, Integrins in Extracellular Matrix Assembly in “Integrins and Development” Edd. Erik Danen, Eurekah.com. (http://www.Eurekah.com), 2005
  28. Clark K, Pankov, R, Travis MA, Askari JA, Mould AP, Craig SE, Newham P, Yamada KM, Humphries MJ. A specific α5β1-integrin conformation promotes directional integrin translocation and fibronectin matrix formation. J Cell Sci. Jan 15;118(Pt 2):291-300, 2005
  29. Pankov, R., Determination of Akt/PKB signaling. Curr. Protocols Cell Biol. 14.6.1-14.6.13, John K. Wily & Sons, Inc. 2004
  30. Pankov, R., and Yamada, K. M., Non-Radioactive Quantification of Fibronectin Matrix Assembly. Curr. Protocols Cell Biol. 10.13.1-10.13.9, John K. Wily & Sons, Inc. 2004
  31. Pankov, R., Cukierman, E., Clark, K., Matsumoto, K., Hahn, C., LaFlamme, S. E., Poulin, B., and Yamada, K. M. Specific b1 integrin site selectively regulates Akt/PKB signaling via local activation of PP2A. J. Biol. Chem. 278: 18671-18681, 2003.
  32. Valtcheva, R., Stephanova, E., Jordanova, A., Pankov, R., Altankov, G., and Lalchev, Z., Effect of halothane on lung carcinoma cells A 549. Chem Biol Interact. 146(2):191-200, 2003
  33. Tran H, Pankov R, Tran SD, Hampton B, Burgess WH, Yamada KM. Integrin clustering induces kinectin accumulation. J. Cell Sci. 115: 2031-2040, 2002.
  34. Pankov R, Yamada KM. Fibronectin at a glance. J. Cell Sci. 115: 3861-3863, 2002.
  35. Cukierman, E., Pankov, R., and Yamada, K. M. Cell interactions with 3D matrices. Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. 14: 633-640, 2002.
  36. Geiger B, Bershadsky A, Pankov R, Yamada KM. Transmembrane crosstalk between the extracellular matrix--cytoskeleton crosstalk. Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 2:793, 2001.
  37. Cukierman, E., Pankov, R., Stevens, D. R., and Yamada, K. M. Taking cell-matrix adhesions to the third dimension. Science 294: 1708-1712, 2001.
  38. Pankov, R., Cukierman, E., Katz, B-Z., Matsumoto, K., Lin, D.C., Lin, S., Hahn, C., and Yamada, K.M. Integrin dynamics and matrix assembly: tensin-dependent translocation of a5b1 integrins promotes early fibronectin fibrillogenesis. J. Cell Biol. 148: 1075-1090, 2000.
  39. Momchilova, A., Ivanova, L., Markovska, T., and Pankov, R. Stimulated nonspecific transport of phospholipids results in elevated external appearance of phosphatidylserine in ras-transformed fibroblasts. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 381: 295-301, 2000.
  40. Gu, J., Tamura, M., Pankov, R., Danen, E.H.J., Takino, T., and Yamada, K.M. Shc and FAK Differnentially Regulate Cell Motility and Directionality Modulated by PTEN. J. Cell Biol. 146(2): 389-404, 1999.
  41. Momchilova, A., Markovska, T., and Pankov, R. Ha-ras-transformation alters the metabolism of phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylcholine in NIH 3T3 fibroblasts. Cell Biol. Int. 23: 603-610, 1999.
  42. Momchilova, A., Markovska, T., and Pankov, R., Arachidonoyl –CoA: LPL acyltransferase activity in ras-transformed NIH 3T3 fibroblasts depends on membrane composition. Biochem. Mol. Biol. Int. 47: 555-561, 1999.
  43. Momchilova, A., Markovska, T., and Pankov, R., Phospholipid dependence of membrane-bound phospholipase A2 in ras-transformed NIH 3T3 fibroblasts. Biochimie 80: 1055-1062, 1998.
  44. Pankov, R., Simcha, I., Zoller, M., Oshima, R., and Ben-Ze’ev, A. Contrasting effects of K8 and K18 on stabilizing K19 expression, cell motility and tumorigenicity in Bsp73 Adenocarcinoma. J. Cell Sci. 110: 965-974, 1997.
  45. Volberg, T., Geiger, B., Kam, Z., Pankov, R., Simcha, I., Sabany, H., Coll, J-L., Adamson, E., and Ben-Ze’ev, A. Focal adhesion formation by F9 embryonal carcinoma cells after vinculin gene disruption. J. Cell Sci. 108: 2253-2260, 1995.
  46. Pankov, R., Neznanov, N., Umezawa, A., and Oshima, R. AP-1, ETS and transcriptional silencers regulate the retinoic-acid dependent induction of keratin 18 in embryonic cells. Mol. Cell. Biol. 14: 7748-7757, 1994.
  47. Pankov, R., Umezawa, A., Maki, R., Der, Ch., Hauser, C., and Oshima, R. Oncogene activation of human keratin 18 transcription via the Ras signal transduction pathway, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 91: 873-877, 1994.
  48. Markovska, T., Koshlukova, S., Momchilova, A., Pankov, R., and Yanev, E. Influence of carbicron (O-[(2-butenoic acid)-N,N-dimethylamide-3-YL]-O,O-dimethylphosphate) on some biochemical and biophysical parameters of rat liver membranes. Int. J. Biochem. 25: 253-257, 1993.
  49. Gluck, U., Fernandez, J. L. R., Pankov, R., and Ben-Ze’ev, A. Regulation of adherens junction expression in growth-activated 3T3 cells and regenerating liver. Exp. Cell Res. 202: 477-486, 1992.
  50. Momchilova, A.B., Markovska, T.T., Koshlukova, S.E., Koumanov, K.S., and Pankov, R.G. Phospholipid modifications influence acyl-CoA: 1-acyl-glicero-3-phosphocholine O-acyltranspherase in rat liver plasma membranes. Biochem. Cell Biol. 69: 643-648, 1991.
  51. Hancock, R., Charron., M., Lambert, H., Lemieux, M., Pankov, R., and Pepin, N., Topoisomerase-II as a target of antitumor agents. Pharmacol. Ther. S. 119-137, 1990.
  52. Pankov, R., Lemieux, M., and Hancock, R. An antigen localized in the kinetochore region in metaphase and on polar microtubule ends in the midbody region in anaphase, characterized using a monoclonal antibody. Chromosoma 99: 95-101, 1990.
  53. Lambert, H., Pankov, R., Gauthier, J., and Hancock, R. Electroporation-mediated uptake of proteins into mammalian cells. Biochem. Cell Biol. 68: 729-734, 1990.
  54. Pankov, R.G., Usheva, A.A., Tasheva, B.T., and Markov, G.G. Vertebrate liver cytokeratins–a comparative study. Biochem. Cell Biol. 65: 547-557, 1987.
  55. Pankov, R., Uschewa, A., Tasheva, B., Petrov, P., and Markov, G. Actin participates in the structure of liver intermediate filaments, Cell Biol. Int. Rep. 9: 1003-1011, 1985.


Research projects (last 5 years)


Multi-purpose center for adult education in clean environment (ECO-Center), Програма „Еразъм+”, Grant agreement - 2014-1-BG01-KA204-001645

Structuring of work related competences in chemical engineering (STRENGTH), Програма LLP - Leonardo da Vinci, Grant agreement – 2013-1-ES1-LEO05-66726

Curricula Development in the fields of Reproductive Biology/Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Regenerative Medicine in Serbia (ART-REM), 586181-EPP-1-2017-1-RS-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP, Erasmus+, Grant agreement: 2017-3405/001-001

Cell quiescence: Role of cell compartmentalization of the extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK), National Science Fund # ДФНИ-Б02/13/14

Investigation of the inhibitory effect of high glucose concentrations on TGFβ signalling and finding ways to counteract, National Science Fund, Contract № ДН11/7/18г.

A new approach for assessing the protective role of anti-oxidants produced by photosynthetic plants on cell membranes and microdomains. Application of three-dimensional cell cultures as an adequate model of animal tissues. National Science Fund, Contract ДФНИ-02/023/14

Selected Meetings

1. Панков Р, Плурипотентни стволови клетки - от лабораторията към клиничните изпитания, Юбилейна Научна Конференция „10 години Българска асоциация по клинична имунология” 28- 29 октомври 2016, София, лекция по покана

2. Pankov R, Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells – New Opportunities and Challenges, Symposium, X-th Anniversary of Bulgarian Association of Reproductive Human Embryology, 23-24 October, 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria, invited lecture

3. Pankov R, The third dimensional perspective of the cell culture: advantages and limitations, Third Balkan Scientific Conference on Biology, May 30th-June 1st, 2014, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, plenary lecture

4. Evangelatov, R. Skrobanska, N. Stefanova, T. Topouzova-Hristova, R. Pankov „Culturing in native, tissue-like conditions approximates signaling through FAK and Src to in vivo conditions.” 7th Abercrombie Meeting, 24-27 June 2012, St Catherine’s College, Oxford, UK

5. Kyumurkov A.; Evangelatov A.; Skrobanska R., Pankov R., Tubulin acetylation is specifically influenced by beta 1 integrin activation, 36th FEBS Congress, Biochemistry for Tomorrows Medicine, Torino, ITALY Date: JUN 25-30, 2011, FEBS JOURNAL Volume: 278 Special Issue: SI Supplement: 1 Pages: 361-361

6. Skrobanska R.; Evangelatov A.; Topouzova-Hristova T., Pankov R., Regulation of proliferation in tissue-like three dimensional culture system, 36th FEBS Congress, Biochemistry for Tomorrows Medicine, Torino, ITALY Date: JUN 25-30, 2011, FEBS JOURNAL Volume: 278 Special Issue: SI Supplement: 1 Pages: 162-163

7. Ralica Damianova, Nadezhda Stefanova, Galya Staneva, Diana Petkova, Albena Momchilova and Roumen Pankov, Biochemical and immunohistochemical characterization of tissue-like three dimensional culture system, 34th Congress of the Federation-of-European-Biochemical-Societies, JUL 04-09, 2009 Prague, Czech Republic

8. Pankov, R., "Cell adhesions and signaling - Insight from the third dimension" NATO Advanced Research Workshop Nanoengineered Materials for Regenerative Medicine, September 21-24, Varna, 2007

9. Pankov, R., Even-Ram, Sh., Cukierman, E., Matsumoto, K., Clark, K., and Yamada, K. M. Adhesion Contacts and Fibronectin Assembly. Fibronectin, Integrins, and Related Molecules, Gordon Research Conference, Ventura, CA, 2003

10. Ralitza V. Valtcheva, Elena V. Stephanova, Roumen G. Pankov, George P. Altankov, Zdravko I. Lalchev, Alterations in focal adhesion complexes in response to halothane, 2003, Turkish Journal of Biochemistry 13-th Balkan Biochemical Biophysical Days (12-15 October, 2003 Kusadasi Turkey), pp.166-167

11. Yamada, K. M., Pankov, R., Cukierman, E., Sakai, T., Larsen, M. Dimensions in integrin complex formation and signaling. Fibronectin, Integrins, and Related Molecules, Gordon Research Conference, Ventura, CA, 2003

12. Yamada, K. M., Katz, B.-Z., Miyamoto, S., Pankov, R., Cukierman, E., Larsen, M., Sakai, T. Dimensions and Specificity in Integrin-mediated Signaling. National Health Research Institute (NHRI) of Taiwan symposium on "Signal Transduction" Taipei, Taiwan, 2003

13. Yamada, K. M., Pankov, R., Cukierman, E., Larsen, M., Sakai, T. Dimensions and Dynamics in Integrin Function and Tissue Remodeling. Meeting in Seoul, Korea, 2003.

14. Yamada, K. M., Pankov, R., Cukierman, E. Dimensions in Adhesive Signaling. Cell migration and invasion meeting, Keystone Symposia, Keystone, CO, 2003.

15. Yamada, K. M., Pankov, R., Tran, H., and Cukierman, E. Dimensions and dynamics in integrin function. ECM conference, Brazil, 2002.

16. Cukierman, E., Pankov, R., and Yamada, K. M. The three dimensional matrix adhesion. 3rd Federation of Israel Societies for Experimental Biology Congress. Eilat, Israel, 2002.

17. Pankov, R., Cukierman, E., and Yamada, K. M. Integrin Dynamics, Matrix Assembly and Cell Survival. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, annual retrieve College Park, MD, 2001.

18. Pankov, R., Cukierman, E., Hahn, C., Matsumoto, K., LaFlamme, S. E., and Yamada, K. M. Integrin-mediated cell survival and matrix assembly. Fibronectin, Integrins, and Related Molecules, Gordon Research Conference, Ventura, CA, 2001.

19. Yamada, K. M., Pankov, R., and Cukierman, E. Remodeling of matrices in adhesive contact formation. AACR 92nd annual meeting, New Orleans, LA, 2001.

20. Yamada, K. M., Tamura, M., Cukierman, E., and Pankov, R. Integrin complexes in matrix interactions, migration, and signaling. Cell Migration and Invasion, Keystone Symposia, Tahoe City, CA, 2001.

21. Pankov, R., Cukierman, E., Katz, B-Z., Matsumoto, K., Lin, D.C., Lin, S., Hahn, C., and Yamada, K.M. Integrin dynamics and matrix assembly: Actin- and tensin-induced translocation of alpha(5)beta(1) integrins drives early fibronectin fibrillogenesis. 13th ASCB annual meeting Washington D.C., 1999.

22. Pankov, R., Lemieux, M. and R. Hancock, An antigen localized at stable plus ends during mitosis, at kinetochore corona in metaphase and at the midbody in anaphase, Thirtieth Annual Meeting of The American Society for Cell Biology, San Diego, California, 9-13 December 1990.

23. Pankov, R. and G. Markov, Intermediate filament typing as a tool in tumor diagnosis, Bulgarian-German Symposium of Diagnostic Cytology and 4th Tutorial for Young Scientists, Varna, Bulgaria, 13-15 October 1989.

24. Hancock, R., Charron, M., Lambert, H., Lemieux, M., Pankov, R. and Hancock, R., Topoisomerase II as a target of antitumor drugs, 2nd International Symposium on Molecular Aspects of Chemotherapy, Gdansk, Poland, July 1988.

25. Parent-Vaugeois, C., Bergeron, A., Pankov, R., Fradet, Y., Induction in vivo et in vitro d'antigenes specifiques aux tumeurs papillaires de la vessie humaine, Journee Scientifique Annuelle de L'Hotel-Dieu de Quebeck, Quebeck, Canada, 27 May 1988.

26. Pankov, R. and Markov, G., Vertebrate liver cytokeratins - changes in the course of evolution, Canadian Cell Biology Society Annual Workshop, 3-4 April, 1987

27. Pankov, R. and Hancock, R., Polypeptides of the kinetochore of Chinese hamster ovary cells, Twenty-seventh Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.,16-20 November, St. 1987