He is an authority in the field of organic and organometallic chemistry. The area of his scientific interests generally is chemistry of organoboron compounds, its dynamics (borotropy), stereochemistry, applications in organic synthesis in practice. He discovered allylborating (1964), allylboron-acetylene condensation (1965) and reductive allylation of nitrogenous aromatic heterocycles (1992) — the three fundamental reactions provided new on principle construction strategy of unsaturated, cyclic, heterocyclic and skeleton structures (such as derivatives of 1-boraadamantane and diboric clatrochelatic complexes of iron and cobalt) from simple unsaturated boron derivatives. Applied «boron methodology» for obtaining many important natural substances and their analogues: cephalotaxine (possessing of antileukaemia and antimalaria effect), ernandulzine (3000 times sweater than sugar), neuroregulator GABOB, ipsenol and ipsdienol (insects sexual pheromones), indolisidines and pinidines (components of tree frogs venom), muscarine (strong fly agaric poison), rimantadine (antiinfluenza remedy) and so on. Found original boron containing catalysts for synthesis of block and impart polymers. In his research team were obtained original boron containing drugs for prevention and treatment of poultry and human influenza, including H5N1 and H1N1 viruses. Developed scientific classification of organoboron reactions.
Director of A.N. Nesmeyanov Institute of Organoelement Compound RAS (1996-2013), member of BCMS (Branch of Chemistry and Materials Sciences) bureau, member of scientific council on organic and organometallic chemistry under the presidium of RAS (1999 — present), member of committee on skeleton compounds of scientific council RAS on fine organic synthesis. Member of editorial board of “Uspekhi Khimii” (“Russian Chemical Reviews”) journal (1998 — present). Was a chairman of organizing committees of a whole number of Russian and international conferences on organic, organometallic and organoboron chemistry. Periodically give lectures for students of Chemical Department of MSU, other universities, Higher Chemical College RAS and others. Awarded with the Order of Friendship (1999) and the Order of Honour (2005); the medal “For valorous work. In V.I. Lenin 100th anniversary” (1970). Laureate of A.N. Nesmeyanov prize (2006). Awarded with the N. Copernic medal (Torun University, Poland, 1989).
Trained 24 candidates of sciences (PhDs) and 2 doctors of sciences.
Selected recent publications:
Yu.N. Bubnov, "Allylboranes" in Science of Synthesis. Houben-Weyl Methods of Molecular Transformations, D.S. Matteson, D. Kaufmann, Eds., George Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart, Germany; Vol. 6, Ch. 35, 2004. 945-1072.
Yu.N. Bubnov, M.E. Gurskii, S.Yu. Erdyakov, “Bicyclic Systems with Bridgehead Boron Atom”, in Comprehensive Heterocyclic Chem. 3d Ed., A.R. Katrizky, R. Taylor, K. Jones (Eds.), Elsevier, Vol. 12, Ch. 13, 2008, 573-633.
Ya.Z. Voloshin, O.A. Varzatskii, Yu. N. Bubnov, Cage complexes of transition metals in biochemistry and medicine, Izv. Akad. Nauk, Ser. Khim., 2007, 555-582.
M.E. Gurskii, S.Yu. Erdyakov, T.V. Potapova, Yu.N. Bubnov, “Allylboranes and synthesis of diamond-like structures on its basis”, Izv. Akad. Nauk, Ser. Khim., 2008, 788-800.
P. Kaszynski, S. Pakhomov, M.E. Gurskii, S.Yu. Erdyakov, Z.A. Starikova, K.A. Lyssenko, M.Yu. Antipin, V.G. Young, Jr., Yu.N. Bubnov, “1-Pyridine- and 1-Quinuclidine-1-boraadamantane as Models for Derivatives of 1-Borabicyclo[2.2.2]octane. Experimental and Theoretical Evaluation of the B–N Fragment as a Polar Isosteric Substitution for the C–C Group in Liquid Crystal Compounds”, J. Org. Chem., 2009, 74, 1709-1720.
Yu.N. Bubnov, M.E. Gurskii, S.Yu. Erdyakov, O.A. Kizas, G.D. Kolomnikova, N.Yu. Kuznetsov, T.V. Potapova, O.A. Varzatskii, Y.Z. Voloshin “Allylic Boranes are Chemist’s Best Friends: Reactivity, Applications, New Opportunities”, J. Organomet. Chem., 2009, 694, 1754-1763.