Vassya Bankova obtained her PhD in Natural Product Chemistry at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) in 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 a full professor at the Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry, where she is now head of Lab “Chemistry of Natural Substances”. With more than 160 publications to her name, she is also a member of the International Honey Commission and president of the Bulgarian Phytochemical Society. She is 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. In 2015 she was elected as a corresponding member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
Her research interests are directed towards the search for new biologically active compounds from unexplored biological subjects (endemic plants, mushrooms, bee products) and the development of modern reliable methods of qualitative and quantitative analysis of the active components in complex extracts of natural products. She is especially interest in bee propolis: its chemistry, plant origin, biological activity, health-promoting potential, analysis and standardization. She and her team have been studying propolis for over 20 years and have made major contributions to the current knowledge of propolis. They have published over 80 papers in international peer reviewed journals and three book chapters on propolis alone.