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President Bush names Cigarroa to National Medal of Science panel

San Antonio (Feb. 5 , 2003) — President Bush on Tuesday nominated Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., president of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, to be a member of the President's Committee on the National Medal of Science.

Congress created the National Medal of Science in 1959 as a Presidential Award to be given to individuals "deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical or engineering sciences." In 1980 the award was expanded to include the social and behavioral sciences.

The president appoints 12 of the nation's most prominent leaders in the fields of research, science and engineering to evaluate award nominees. The National Medal of Science, which falls under the auspices of the National Science Foundation, has been awarded to more than 400 meritorious scientists and engineers.

"We are proud that President Bush has called on Dr. Cigarroa to serve on this important committee," said Mark G. Yudof, chancellor of The University of Texas System. "It is both a fitting recognition of Dr. Cigarroa's talent and expertise and an honor for Texas that he serves in this capacity."

Dr. Cigarroa, a nationally renowned pediatric and transplant surgeon, earned a bachelor's degree from Yale in 1979 and received his medical degree with highest honors from the UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas in 1983. He has completed 12 years of postgraduate training. He was chief resident at Harvard's teaching hospital, Massachusetts General in Boston, and completed a fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Contact: Will Sansom