Sam Franklin, an assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, educates students and conducts research that shapes how medical care is provided for both people and animals.
Where did you earn degrees and what are your current responsibilities at UGA?
I earned my doctor of veterinary medicine degree at Colorado State University and then completed my surgical residency and Ph.D. at the University of Missouri. My current responsibilities at UGA include performing orthopedic surgery on dogs and cats, teaching veterinary students about orthopedic surgery and performing orthopedic-related research.
When did you come to UGA and what brought you here?
I started working at UGA in autumn of 2013. I was eager to join the faculty at this university and to have a rewarding blend of service, research and teaching responsibilities.
What are your favorite courses and why?
I enjoy teaching a course on musculoskeletal disease and pathology because it provides an opportunity to give many veterinary students their first in-depth exploration of common ailments that affect the musculoskeletal system in numerous species including dogs, horses and people.
What are some highlights of your career at UGA?
I have had several highlights while here at UGA of which I am proud, but most recently our group, led by a veterinary intern, published an impactful study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine that suggests that the commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs known as COX-2 inhibitors can be used before platelet-rich plasma therapy without compromising the effectiveness of the PRP treatment.
How do you describe the scope and impact of your research or scholarship to people outside of your field?
Ideally, our research will prove to be clinically relevant and contribute to shaping how medical care is provided for both people and animals.
How does your research or scholarship inspire your teaching, and vice versa?
Teaching and research are intimately intertwined as numerous students, whether undergraduate, graduate or veterinary, perform research projects in order to gain experience in the medical field. I enjoy the opportunity to teach these students as we perform research that aims to produce new knowledge.
What do you hope students gain from their classroom experience with you?
I hope students gain a genuine curiosity about the musculoskeletal system and its ailments such that they are motivated to read, research and learn more about orthopedics.
Describe your ideal student.
The ideal student should be curious and should question the current concepts or paradigms in orthopedic medicine. Only by questioning the accepted standards for care will we identify how the current lines of thought can be improved.
Favorite place to be/thing to do on campus is …
I like going to the science library and the stacks of veterinary journals. I find it interesting to open up old issues of journals and see what work was being done decades ago in veterinary medicine and how the profession has advanced.
Beyond the UGA campus, I like to …
… go running in all the parks and recreation areas in Athens and Oconee counties. This area has many great outdoor areas to enjoy.
Community/civic involvement includes …
I meet with local dog clubs to discuss veterinary medical issues of interest to the club members.
Favorite book/movie (and why)?
… “Forrest Gump.” Is any explanation needed? It’s a great movie.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be …
… having a lab dinner with all the students and technicians to celebrate the completion of a large and involved research project. It was really a lot of fun to get everyone together to celebrate our shared work and success.