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Distinction for Prof. Dr. Robert Penchovsky from the Faculty of Biology

Prof. Dr. Robert Penchovsky, head of the new laboratory of Synthetic Biology and Bioinformatics at the Faculty of Biology of Sofia University, received an Outstanding Scientist award from the 7th edition of the International Research Awards in Sensor Technologies.

Robert Penchovsky is a full professor of molecular genetics, synthetic biology, and bioinformatics and head of the newly established synthetic biology and bioinformatics laboratory at the Faculty of Biology of the Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski".




He received his PhD in genetics from the University of Cologne, Germany, while researching microfluidics and DNA computing for the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft at Schloss Birlinghoven in St. Augustine (near Bonn), Germany. He did his postdoctoral training in computational and synthetic RNA biology at Yale University, New Haven, USA.

Prof. Robert Penchovski worked briefly as a software engineer, biotechnology consultant, and molecular biology researcher at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Sofia and the former Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Jena, Germany.

He pioneered teaching and researching synthetic biology and bioinformatics in Bulgaria. His publications have an H-index of 16 points. He participated in 20 scientific projects. Robert Penchowski is the lead author (first or last author) of 97% of his publications and the corresponding author of 92%. 87% of all publications have less than three co-authors, and 11.4% are with 4-5 co-authors. Only one publication has more than five co-authors (1.6%), namely 7. Robert Penchowsky's publications have an impact factor (IF) of 220.5 points.

Sixteen masters and five doctoral students successfully defended their theses under the supervision of Prof. Penchovsky. He directs several master's programs in genetics and genomics in Bulgarian and English. Four young scientists under his guidance on his projects have won 4 awards from 3 national science competitions, 1 start-up, and 2 teacher awards since 2021.

Prof. Penchovsky is also a recipient of an award from the Bulgarian national competition for high scientific achievements for researchers from all fields over 35 years of age, organized by the Union of Scientists in Bulgaria. His research has been awarded for scientific achievements in synthetic biology, bioinformatics and molecular evolution.

A recent publication by his team was selected by the editors of the American Chemical Society and is among the most popular in ACS Synthetic Biology.

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