Prof. Dr. Roumiana Tsenkova holds both masters and doctoral degrees in Automation Engineering from the Technical University, Rousse, Bulgaria, as well as a second doctorate in Agriculture from Hokkaido University, Japan. Her investigations in near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) started by developing a sensor for disease diagnostics (mammary gland inflammation) at Moscow Agricultural Academy of Science, Russia. In 1990, Dr. Tsenkova was awarded a Japanese Monbusho Scholarship for post-doctoral studies on sensors for robotic milking at Obihiro University, Japan and in 1992, she moved to Hokkaido University as a researcher, to develop NIRS technology for biomonitoring. In 1996 Prof. Tsenkova started working at Kobe University where, as a tenured professor, she taught Fluid Mechanics and Biomeasurement Technology. Since 2015, she serves as an adjunct professor at the prestigious Medical Faculty of Keio University in Tokyo. In April 2021, Prof. Tsenkova founded the Aquaphotomics Research Department at Kobe University, the first such department in the world, solely devoted to the aquaphotomics studies, where she holds a position of the specially appointed professor.
Prof. Tsenkova’s primary area of interest is the use of NIRS and multivariate analyses for biodiagnostics and biomonitoring related to functional studies in life science, biotechnology, and agriculture. She was the first ever to apply NIRS for disease diagnostics. In 2005, at the International Conference of NIRS, she proposed and gave a name to the new discipline called aquaphotomics. The objective of aquaphotomics as a new scientific field is to study the water molecular structure and related functionality of aqueous and biosystems. Her work is recognized throughout the world as attested by numerous invited talks, collaborative studies, and fifteen international and Japanese patents. Dr. Tsenkova has written more than 100 peer reviewed papers and book chapters , and received many international awards, among them the Tomas Hirschfeld Award for her work on NIRS for Disease Diagnosis and Pathogen Identification.