Ilia V. Yampolsky

Personal information

Born: April 25, 1979 (Moscow). Graduated from bioclass of Moscow high-school 1543. From 1996 to 2001 studied at the Higher Chemical College of the Russian Academy of Sciences. While being a student worked at N. D. Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry and A. N. Nesmeyanov Institute of Organoelement Compounds. Since 2002 works at M.M. Shemyakin and Yu. A. Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In 2009 received PhD degree in biochemistry for studying chemical structures of the chromophores of GFP-like fluorescent proteins.

In 2016 received DrSc degree for studying novel luciferins.

Scientific interests

Research interests: medicinal chemistry, total synthesis of natural products, bioluminescence, fluorescent and fluorogenic dyes, evaluation of biosynthetic mechanisms. He dedicates plenty of time to teaching chemistry to high-school and university students specialized in biology and authors about a dozen original lecture courses.

Main scientific results





Biosynthetic mechanism of chemically unstable acylimine chromophore of red fluorescent proteins was investigated. This required development of new synthetic strategy to 2-acylaminoimidazolones - biosynthetic precursors of 2-acyliminoimidazolones. We have shown spontaneous oxidation of precursors with air oxygen by unusual mechanism.






Total synthesis of chromophores of GFP-like fluorescent proteins was used as a tool for independent structure determination of these chromophores. Also, this allowed to study structure-spectral properties relationship within this range of imidazole derivatives and to develop novel synthetic approaches to 2-functionalized arylideneimidazolones. Chromophores of AsFP595, Kaede and YFP538 were synthesized.















A blue proteinaceous pigment from Rhizostoma pulmo (jellyfish from the Black Sea) was isolated, sequenced and studied by biochemical methods. An attempt to determine the nature of the blue coloration (chromophore) was unsuccessful.




Black Sea jellyfish Rhizostoma pulmo possessing an unidentified blue pigment



Selected publications (show all)