Vassya Bankova obtained her PhD in Natural Product Chemistry at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia. She has worked as a guest-researcher at the Ruhr University – Bochum, the University of Saarland, Saarbruecken, the Bandeirante University, Sao Paulo, and the Institute of Molecules of Biological Interest, Naples. In 2004 she became full professor at the Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry, where she is now head of Lab “Chemistry of Natural Substances”.
Her research interests are directed towards search for new biologically active compounds from unexplored biological subjects (endemic plants, mushrooms, bee products); development of modern reliable methods of qualitative and quantitative analysis of the active components in complex extracts of natural products. Her special interest is devoted to the bee product propolis (bee glue): its chemistry, plant origin, biological activity, health-promoting potential, analysis, standardization. She and her group have been studying propolis for over 20 years, have made major contributions to the current knowledge of propolis and have published over 90 papers in international peer reviewed journals and four book chapters on this topic. Her total number of publications is over 190, she has an h-index of 39. She is a member of the International Honey Commission and president of the Bulgarian Phytochemical Society. She is also a part-time lecturer at the University of Sofia and is on the Editorial Board of Chemistry Central Journal as Section Editor for Organic Chemistry Section and on the Editorial Advisory Board of Natural Product Communications. In 2015 she was elected to a corresponding member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.