Texas Tech University

Michael San Francisco, Interim Dean, TTU College of Arts & Sciences

Michael San Francisco, Ph.D.

Interim Dean, College of Arts & Sciences

As a longtime and distinguished member of the Texas Tech University faculty who has served a breadth of leadership, research, special advisory, and faculty roles across campus for three decades, Michael San Francisco, Ph.D., currently serves as the interim dean of the Texas Tech College of Arts & Sciences. In addition to this appointment of interim dean, he also serves as a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, Honors, an adjunct professor in the Department of Immunology and Molecular Microbiology at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and the Director of the Clark Scholars Program.

Dr. San Francisco was officially appointed as interim dean of the Texas Tech College of Arts & Sciences on June 9, 2020, by Provost Michael Galyean before actively assuming the role on September 1, 2020. The College of Arts & Sciences currently serves more than 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students with a cohort of more than 400 tenured faculty members, operating as the largest and most diverse college at Texas Tech.

Prior to assuming the role of interim dean, Dr. San Francisco served as dean of the Texas Tech Honors College for six years after being appointed by then Provost Lawrence Schovanec in 2014. Dr. San Francisco also served as an associate dean in the Honors College, and interim vice president for research, where he worked on faculty development, the transdisciplinary research academy, strategic initiatives, proposal development and limited submissions and research collaborations with the TTUHSC.

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 came to the United States for his graduate education from India where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1977. He attended Boston University earning his Master of Science (biochemical ecology) in 1980 and Ph.D. (biology-microbiology) in 1984. He completed post-doctoral research at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine 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 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 (CISER). He served as co-director till 2015. He also served as the first 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 and economically underprivileged who 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 12 doctoral students and 15 master's students from his laboratory. He has also served as an undergraduate research mentor to more than 60 students including TTU/HHMI, National Science Foundation-Research Experiences for Undergraduates, McNair Scholars and Honors College students.

Dr. San Francisco 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, and on the atmospheric microbiome in outdoor and indoor environments.

Dr. San Francisco is married to Dr. Susan San Francisco. They have two children, two dogs and one bird. He likes to read, cook and play tennis. 

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