Dean of the Honors College
Michael San Francisco, Ph.D.
Michael San Francisco serves as Dean of the Honors College. Also, he is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and a special adviser to the Vice President for Research.
As a special adviser, Dr. San Francisco will work closely with the faculty, department chairs and deans to continue to broaden and strengthen the research enterprise at the university, as well as enhance scholarship opportunities for faculty and strategic relationships with the federal government, the private sector and foundations to foster investment in faculty, graduate and undergraduate research, and interdisciplinary research programs. Dr. San Francisco will also work on tasks related to proposal development and limited submissions.
Dr. San Francisco joined Texas Tech University as an assistant professor in biological sciences in 1990 and was promoted to full professor in 2004. He also is a professor at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He came to the United States for his graduate education from India, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in 1977. He attended Boston University, earning his Master of Science (biochemical ecology) in 1980 and Ph.D. (biology-microbiology) in 1984. He did postdoctoral research at the University of Maryland in biochemistry and molecular biology (1984-1987) and subsequently at The Ohio State University (1987-1990) in biotechnology.
Dr. San Francisco served as interim chair of biological sciences at Texas Tech University from 1997-1998. He has been the director of the Clark Scholars Program since 1997. This program provides an all expenses paid seven-week intensive research experience for high school students from across the nation and globe. He was director of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Science Education Program (2005-2008) and now is associate director for undergraduate research. He also serves as co-director at the Center for the Integration of Science Education and Research (2007-present). He also served as the faculty director for the Joint Admissions Medical Program (2001-2008), a program run by the State of Texas for those students who are academically eligible but economically underprivileged and wish to attend medical school.
Dr. San Francisco teaches general microbiology and advanced courses in microbiology to upper-level and graduate students. He has graduated seven doctoral students and nine master’s students from his laboratory. He has also served as undergraduate research mentor to more than 55 students, including TTU/HHMI, National Science Foundation-Research Experiences for Undergraduate and Honors College students.
He received the Hemphill Wells New Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award in 1993 and the President's Excellence in Teaching Award in 2009. Dr. San Francisco has received grants from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Defense-SBCOM and Office of the Vice President for Research. He has served on proposal review panels for the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation and as ad hoc reviewer for a variety of funding agencies and scientific journals. His scientific research and publications are primarily in the areas of molecular mechanisms of microbial drug resistance and the molecular and biochemical basis of symbiotic and pathogenic interactions of microorganisms with their plant and animal hosts. His research currently focuses on the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis that has been identified as an agent in the global decline of amphibians.
In December 2013, Dr. San Francisco was appointed dean of the Honors College by Provost Lawrence Schovanec, effective Jan. 1, 2014. San Francisco also served as an associate dean in the Honors College and most recently, interim vice president for research, where he worked on faculty development, interdisciplinary scholarship academy, strategic initiatives, proposal development and limited submissions.
Dr. San Francisco is married to Dr. Susan San Francisco, who also works at TTU. They have two children, two dogs and three birds. He likes to read, cook and play tennis.