Yury Polikanov is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago and is jointly affiliated with the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy in the College of Pharmacy. Dr. Polikanov received M.S. degree (cum laude) in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Lomonosov Moscow State University (Moscow, Russia) in 2004.

In 2008, Dr. Polikanov graduated from Rutgers University (Piscataway, NJ, USA) and received Ph.D. degree in Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology. From 2008 till 2015, Dr. Polikanov accomplished postdoctoral training in Biophysics and Structural Biology in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Steitz at Yale University (New Haven, CT, USA). Currently, Dr. Polikanov is leading his own research group at the University of Illinois (Chicago, IL, USA). Dr. Polikanov's expertise is in the field of structural studies of the bacterial ribosome using X-ray crystallography techniques. He co-authored more than 25 research publications in high-impact international scientific journals.

Currently, the research in Dr. Polikanov's laboratory at UIC focuses on studies of structural aspects of protein synthesis and the mechanisms of action of ribosome-targeting antibiotics. This research facilitates the development of next-generation antimicrobial compounds, as well as clinical approaches to prevent the acquisition of drug resistance by clinical pathogens. Polikanov laboratory uses X-ray crystallography techniques to determine nearly atomic resolution structures of various antibiotics bound to their target, the ribosome, which allows understanding how ribosome-targeting antibiotics work and how they could be improved.

Yury Polikanov