Welcome to the personal web-site of Dr Nikolai Elenkov Lazarov.
Here you will be able to find information about my
professional and personal interests.


Biographical sketch                                                          

Originally from Vidin, Bulgaria, Dr. Nikolai Lazarov received his MD from the Medical University in Sofia in 1981, his PhD in Neurobiology from the Thracian University in Stara Zagora in 1991 and his DSc from the same university in 2000. Dr. Lazarov was appointed Assistant Professor at the Thracian University in Stara Zagora in 1982 and in 1994 he became Associate Professor at the Department of Anatomy. In November 2001 he was promoted to a Full Professor at the same department. Since April 2007 he is a Professor of Anatomy and Cell Neurobiology at the Department of Anatomy and Histology to the Medical University in Sofia. Currently he is Head of the same department. He has also been a collaborating Professor and Head of the Department of Synaptic Signaling and Communications to the Institute of Neurobiology of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences since 2010. Dr. Lazarov is the current President of the Bulgarian Anatomical Society. He was Chairman of the Executive Board of the Bulgarian National Science Fund and is currently Vice President.
His biographical sketch currently appears in Who's Who in the 21st Century, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in Science and Engineering and 2000 Outstanding Scientists of the 21st Century.

Academic Appointments                

  • President of the Bulgarian Anatomical Society

  • Chairman, Department of Anatomy and Histology, Medical University of Sofia (2019-2023)

  • Head, Department of Synaptic Signaling and Communications, Institute of Neurobiology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (2012-2023)

  • Vice-Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Thracian University, 2000-2003

  • Chairman, Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Thracian University, 2000-2007

  • Member, Faculty Council, Faculty of Medicine, Thracian University, 1994-1995; 2000-2007

  • Member, Academic Board, High Medical School, 1982-1995

Research Focus and Current Research Projects             

Functional Morphology and Neurochemistry of the Trigeminal Sensory System
Primary Sensory and Autonomic Neurons
Carotid body Morphology and Neurochemistry

  1. 1. European Union-NextGenerationEU, National Recovery and Resilience Plan of the Republic of Bulgaria, Project No. BG-RRP-2.004-0004-C01:
    Respiratory and Cardiovascular Homeostasis in Health and Disease

  2. National Science Fund (Ministry of Education, Youth and Science of Bulgaria) Research Project:
    Study of the role of angiotensin modulatory system and melatonin in the mechanisms modulating circadian rhythms of brain activity in the kainite model of epilepsy

  3. CEEPUS Joint Project:
    Psychosomatic Medicine: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Improve the Managing Skills of Healthcare Providers

  4. MU Pleven Joint Project:
    Immunohistochemical localization of AMPA glutamate receptors in the cochlear nuclear complex of the rat

Research groups                                                           

  • Functional Neuroanatomy

  • Sensory Neurobiology

Some recent publications                                              

Lazarov NE, Atanasova DY (2023) Morphofunctional and Neurochemical Aspects of the Mammalian Carotid Body. Advances in Anatomy, Embryology and Cell Biology 237: pp 1-165.

Lazarov NE (2013) Neuroanatomical tract-tracing using biotinylated dextran amine. In: Renping Zhou, Lin Mei (Eds.) Neural Development: Methods and Protocols Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 1018, Humana Press, Springer Science+Business Media, New York, LLC, pp. 323-334

Lazarov N (2012) The neurochemical anatomy of trigeminal primary afferent neurons. In: C.M. Contreras (Ed.) Neuroscience – Dealing with Frontiers, InTech, Rijeka, 2012, pp. 167-194

Lazarov NE, Usunoff KG, Schmitt O, Itzev DE, Rolfs A, Wree A (2011) Amygdalotrigeminal projection in the rat: An anterograde tracing study. Ann Anat 193:118-126.

Lazarov NE, Reindl S, Fischer F, Gratzl M (2009) Histaminergic and dopaminergic traits in the human carotid body. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 165:131-136.

Lazarov NE (2007) Neurobiology of orofacial proprioception. Brain Res Rev 56:362-383.

Lazarov N, Rozloznik M, Reindl S, Rey-Ares V, Dutschmann M, Gratzl M (2006) Expression of histamine receptors and effect of histamine in the rat carotid body chemoafferent pathway. Eur J Neurosci 24:3431-3444.

Lazarov NE (2002) Comparative analysis of the chemical neuroanatomy of the mammalian trigeminal ganglion and mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus. Prog Neurobiol 66:19-59.

Lazarov NE (2000) The mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus in the cat. Adv Anat Embryol Cell Biol 153: pp. 1-103.

Click here for a complete publication list.


Personal Interests                                                       

  • Sports

  • Reading

Last not least, teaching                                                

  • Lecture courses and seminars in Cell Biology, Gross Anatomy and Neuroanatomy

  • Elective courses in Clinical and Imaging Anatomy

Student List                                                                  

(PhD Student) Andrey Ivanov, Medical University of Sofia, Bulgaria.
Title of the thesis: Morphofunctional and neurochemical organization of the spinal trigeminal nucleus in the rat
(PhD Student) Nikola Stamenov, Medical University of Sofia, Bulgaria.
Title of the thesis: Morphological characteristics and neurochemical profile of neuroepithelial bodies in spontaneously hypertensive rats


Contact Information

+359-2-9172 525

+359-2-8518 783

Postal address
Nikolai E. Lazarov, MD, PhD, DSc
Professor of Anatomy and Cell Neurobiology
Department of Anatomy and Histology
Medical University - Sofia
2, Zdrave Street
BG-1431 Sofia, Bulgaria

Electronic mail

Awards and Honours

1993 COPERNICUS-Fellow; grant ERB3510PL922161 from the Commission of the European Communities; University of Ulm, Germany

1994 Commission of the European Communities; grant CIPA-CT93-0205 (DG 12 HSMU) from the EEC and Universitair Centrum Antwerpen, Belgium; Research Project 'Functional Morphology of the Autonomic Nervous System', University of Antwerp RUCA, Belgium

1995-1997 AvH Fellow; grant 1015945 from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; Research Project "The Significance of Dopaminergic and Glutamate Afferents for the Differentiation of the Striatum", University of Ulm, Germany

1997 The First Bulgarian Anatomical Society Dimitri Kadanoff Memorial Award

1998 M.R.C. Visiting Professor, Leiden University, The Netherlands

1999 The First Award of the Union of Scientists in Bulgaria

2000 Visiting Professor, University of Ulm, Germany

2003 The First Award for Scientific Merits of the Union of Scientists in Bulgaria

2003 International Scientist of the Year

2004-2005 AvH Fellow; Research Project: "Expression of Receptors: Focus on Histamine Receptors in the Petrosal Ganglion", University of Munich, Germany

2006, 2007, 2008
Visiting Professor, Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich, Germany

2009-2010 Visiting Professor, Medical University of Pleven

2010 The Medical University-Sofia "Orahovatz" Award for Outstanding Contributions to Fundamental Science

2019 The Medical University of Sofia PANACEA Prize for special contributions to realization of teaching, research and expert activity

2019 The Pythagoras Award of the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science for Distinguished Scientist in Health and Medical Sciences

2021 Visiting Professor, University of Bern, Switzerland