Francisco Gonzalez Cigarroa, M.D., was born on December 1, 1957, in Laredo, Texas. One of ten children, Dr. Cigarroa is a third generation physician. After graduating from J. W. Nixon High School in Laredo, he attended Yale University, where he graduated in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Dr. Cigarroa earned his medical degree in 1983 from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. During his postgraduate training, he became chief resident in General Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and completed fellowships in Pediatric Surgery and Transplantation Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. In 2011, Dr. Cigarroa was awarded the Massachusetts General Hospital Trustees’ Medal in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of the practice of medicine and patient care.
Dr. Cigarroa joined the faculty of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in 1995, where he served as director of pediatric surgery before serving as president of the institution from 2000 -2009. In 2003, President George W. Bush appointed him to serve on the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science.
Dr. Cigarroa is a member of several prestigious societies, including the American College of Surgery, the Institute of Medicine, the American Board of Surgery and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also an honorary member of the National Academy of Science in Mexico. He was elected to serve as an Alumni Fellow to the Yale Corporation, the university’s governing board. He also served as the 2010 president of the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas. In 2009, Dr. Cigarroa became the first Hispanic to be named chancellor of The University of Texas System. As chancellor, he oversees one of the largest public systems of higher education in the nation, which consists of nine universities and six health institutions. He is also vice chairman for policy on the Board of Directors of The University of Texas Investment Management Company.
Currently, he serves on the National Research Council Committee on Research Universities and on the American Academy Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. In addition, President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Cigarroa to serve as a commissioner on the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.
Dr. Cigarroa is a nationally renowned transplant surgeon and continues to perform liver and kidney transplant surgeries.
Dr. Cigarroa and his wife, Graciela, an attorney, have two daughters, Maria Cristina and Barbara Carisa. In addition to his academic accomplishments, Dr. Cigarroa is an accomplished classical guitarist.