Francisco Sy headshot

Francisco S. Sy, M.D., M.S., DrPH

Professor and Chair, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health

Environmental and Occupational Health
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Dr. Francisco Sy is a professor of Public Health and chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health in the School of Public Health at UNLV.

At the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Sy was a senior program director and AIDS coordinator in the division of extramural scientific programs at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). In his 12 years at NIH/NIMHD, he has served in various leadership positions including: director, Office of Community-Based Participatory Research & Collaboration; director, Office of Extramural Research Administration; and director, Division of Extramural Activities & Scientific Programs. He was the president of NIH Asian Pacific American Organization (APAO).

At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Sy was a senior health scientist in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention for four years. In 2003, he volunteered and led the CDC SARS Community Outreach Team in Asian communities in the U.S. to mitigate the fear and stigma associated with SARS. He was the founding president of the Association of Asian Pacific Islander Employees of CDC and ATSDR (AAPIECA). He taught and conducted research in infectious disease epidemiology for 15 years at University of South Carolina (USC) School of Public Health. Dr. Sy was the editor of AIDS Education and Prevention - An Interdisciplinary Journal for 28 years.

Dr. Sy has received numerous awards including: the 2015 NIH Director’s Award for catalyzing the advancement of sexual and gender minorities research; 2012 Harvard School of Public Health Outstanding Alumnus for Leadership in Public Health Practice; 2012 NIH Director’s Award for coordinating LGBT research at NIH; 2004 HHS Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service in CDC’s SARS outbreak investigation; and the 1991 James Keith Excellence in Teaching Award from USC School of Public Health.

Dr. Sy earned his Doctor of Public Health in Immunology and Infectious Diseases from Johns Hopkins University; M.S. in Tropical Public Health from Harvard University; MD and B.S. degrees from the University of the Philippines. 

Research Specialties

  • HIV/AIDS prevention
  • Infectious disease epidemiology
  • Parasitology
  • Emerging infectious diseases
  • Minority health and health disparities research
  • LGBT health research
  • Community-based participatory research (CBPR)
  • Global health