Nikolay Filipov named Lalita and Raghubir Sharma Distinguished Professor

By Communications Team, Photo by Amy Ware

Nikolay Filipov has been endowed with the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Lalita and Raghubir Sharma Distinguished Professorship. This professorship, named for Dr. Raghubir Sharma and his wife, is presented to a professor focusing on innovative research in toxicology and engaged in teaching, research, public service, or a combination of these duties. Sharma was the Fred C. Davison Chair in Physiology and Pharmacology at UGA from 1995 until his retirement in 2006 and a trailblazer in the field of toxicology since 1969.

Filipov, a 1998 College of Veterinary Medicine graduate, met and worked closely with Sharma during his time as a student of the Interdisciplinary Toxicology Program (ITP) at UGA. Sharma held a seat on Filipov’s PhD advisory committee and acted as the ITP’s graduate coordinator, a position Filipov now holds. “There are many parallels between Dr. Sharma’s work and my own,” says Filipov. “A lot of my time as a doctoral student was spent researching in Dr. Sharma’s lab. In fact, I still have a cell counter in the lab labeled ‘SHARMA’ in permanent ink.”

Filipov describes Sharma as an excellent collaborator, often interacting with researchers from other departments and colleges to form the best possible teams for his research and create a positive experience for students. “He always sought to foster the interest students have, not lead them in any particular career direction post-graduation,” explains Filipov. In his own research, Filipov must now do more of the same, often interacting with scientists in departments within the college, around the university, and in universities around the country. Filipov’s current research projects include characterizing Gulf War Illness, exploring the effects of fescue toxicosis on beef cow productivity, and performing translational research on the effects specific toxicants have on the brain, immune system, and the way the two interact.

On receiving the professorship, Filipov beamed: “I am so honored to receive this endowment. I consider Dr. Sharma to be a valued colleague and friend, and I hope to wear the title and carry on the Sharma legacy well.”

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