Héctor Rasgado-Flores, Ph.D.
Dr. Héctor Rasgado-Flores is the Director of Diversity, Outreach and Success and a Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University. He is a conservatory-trained pianist and composer who went to medical school but decided instead to pursue a career in basic sciences research and studied a Master’s and doctorate in Neurosciences and went through the ranks of an academic career performing biophysical research and teaching graduate and medical students. Contrary to common practice, he decided not to choose between his passions for research, education and music, but decided instead to simultaneously fully follow all these paths to the best of his abilities. The result has been a rich and rewarding life: a scientist who continues helping develop new and better therapies to treat cystic fibrosis; a pianist who gives concerts on a regular basis in such venues as the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Paraninfo in Guadalajara, Moscow State University, and the Chicago Cultural Center; a composer who has written a symphony about the physiology of the human life cycle, commissioned by the American Physiological Society, and which has been performed by outstanding symphony orchestras; a researcher who studies the effects of music on elderly dementia patients and young children; a composer who wrote a piano suite about the chemical elements commissioned by the Colegio Nacional in Mexico; an educator who teaches medical students the mechanisms of skeletal muscle contraction using as models XVIII century Italian operas, and organizes workshops to teach non-musician medical students to compose four voices music cannons. But most importantly, as he clearly states at every opportunity, an educator whose goal and greatest reward is to bring underserved, underrepresented in medicine students to higher education.