New Charles E. Cheever Jr. Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics Director

Matthew Dacso, MD, MSc has been appointed as new Director of the Charles E. Cheever, Jr. Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics and Professor in the Department of Medicine with a start date of May 1, 2024. Dr. Dacso was selected after a national search led by Dr. Francisco Cigarroa.

Education and Professional Background

Dr. Dacso joins UT Health San Antonio from UTMB at Galveston where he is Chair ad interim of the Department of Global Health & Emerging Diseases in the School of Public & Population Health, a tenured associate professor in the departments of Internal Medicine and Microbiology & Immunology, and the director of the John Sealy School of Medicine Global Health concentration. As a clinician, he provides care in the outpatient primary care clinics as well as the inpatient general internal medicine teaching service.  He is also an active member of the UTMB Biocontainment Care Unit emerging/special pathogens response team.

Dr. Dacso received his B.A. in Music from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and his M.D. from UTMB. During medical school he completed a Masters of Science in international development studies at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies. Following his residency in general internal medicine at Brown University, he moved to Gaborone, Botswana, where he served as a clinician-educator for the Botswana-UPenn Partnership, an organization dedicated to strengthening capacity for clinical care, education, and research in Botswana. He was subsequently recruited to UTMB, where over the past 12 years he has led UTMB’s global health efforts in both the School of Medicine and the School of Public & Population Health.  During that time, he has formed partnerships with institutions in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean that center on student, resident, and faculty collaborations rooted in the values of relationships, respect, and reciprocity. Through this work, he has sought to develop academic collaborations that improve health and address health inequities both at home and around the world.  In his various roles in educational leadership, he has worked to instill into learners an ethical and humanistic approach to clinical medicine, global and community health, and public health research.

Dr. Dacso is a Fellow of the American College Physicians and is an active member of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.  He has published peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and abstracts in the areas of interprofessional global health education, ethics of global health partnerships, mentorship, and narrative medicine. He has been recognized for humanism in medicine and public health by being named an emeritus Faculty Scholar in the John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine and as a member of both Alpha Omega Alpha and the Delta Omega Honor Society for Public Health.

Personal Life

Dr. Dacso has been married to Dr. Premal Patel for more than 18 years and they have two children, Maya (12) and Remy (10). Maya is passionate about singing, reading, and playing soccer. Remy is all about soccer, soccer, and more soccer, but also plays the piano to humor his parents. The household is divided in their English Premier League support – while Remy is an avid fan of south London-based Fulham FC, Maya and Dr. Dacso support Tottenham Hotspur and Dr. Patel is a Manchester City fan. In his free time, Dr. Dacso likes to exercise, travel, and play ultimate frisbee. As an active jazz saxophonist, he is a fixture in the Galveston live music scene, regularly gigging with local bands and performing at events. His Botswana-based band, the Trans-Kalahari Quintet, has released two Afro-jazz compilation albums through the Ansonica label of Parma Recordings and continues to perform regularly in Gaborone, Botswana.

His delightful spouse, Premal Patel, MD, MSc, FACP will be joining the Long School of Medicine as a Professor in the Department of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, and as the Director of the MD-MPH combined program within the new UT Health San Antonio School of Public Health.

For any request, with Dr. Dacso, please contact his assistant Halley Collins on 210 567 0795 or