Thursday, October 19, 2023
  Announcements, Health

By Saira Cabrera

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – OCT. 19, 2023 – The UTRGV School of Medicine is expanding its promise to elevate cancer care in the Rio Grande Valley, and now welcomes the new Medicine and Oncology Department lead, Dr. Everardo Cobos, M.D., F.A.C.P.

Cobos will lead, train and oversee the next generation of medical doctors and oncology physicians training and practicing at the UTRGV School of Medicine and UT Health RGV.

He will head up the UTRGV School of Medicine's new Medicine and Oncology department, encompassing eight subspecialties in complex and specialized care, with four local multispecialty clinics, in addition to heading the cancer care service line. Among the subspecialties is oncology (cancer care), his specialty as a practicing hematologist and oncologist.

"I wear three major hats as an academic physician and leader," Cobos said. "Those three hats are also my main priorities, which involve the School of Medicine's educational, clinical and research goals."


Sofia Hernandez, chief of Staff and Strategic Initiatives at the UTRGV School of Medicine, said Cobos will help push the School of Medicine's growth forward.

"He will work closely with our faculty to lead the unit's growth across all mission areas and prepare resident physicians for successful careers in medicine," she said. "Dr. Cobos is an excellent addition to our team." 

Cobos hopes to bring in and develop innovative programs that will enhance the population's health in the Valley and beyond, by educating the clinicians, staff and donors to identify needs and remove some of the social and structural barriers that exist.

"Especially in terms of cancer care in the Valley, that promotes the health of our community," Cobos said. "UTRGV is a young medical school, but we're already building a legacy and our unique culture. And we're going to facilitate the success of our student learners. They'll train here to practice throughout the Valley, Texas and the country."


Cobos, who said he is looking forward to bringing in a multi-disciplinary academic model of cancer care, will collaborate with other UTRGV School of Medicine colleagues and UT System institutions to establish the new UT Health RGV Cancer and Surgery Center.

"That model should collaborate closely with other cancer centers that work with our research colleagues and help translate discoveries into trials. And, of course, to teach a new generation of clinicians and researchers," he said.

The $145 million Cancer and Surgery Center received approval from The University of Texas System Board of Regents for construction. The opening of the center is expected in 2025. It will receive oncology advisory services from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, a world leader in cancer care and research, to help develop and launch the cancer program in the Rio Grande Valley.

Dr. Michael B. Hocker, senior vice president for UT Health RGV and dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine, said the extensive medical experience Cobos brings to the table will enhance the School of Medicine's curriculum, provide greater academic medicine learning opportunities for future medical providers, and create active interfaces with other departments in the School of Medicine.

"Academic medicine is personalizing patient care. It shapes the future of medicine and is early in its development in revolutionizing cancer care," Hocker said. "Having renowned, experienced physicians like Dr. Cobos as part of our medical institution helps us be part of the nationwide system of care and innovation academic medical institutions provide. We are excited to have a physician of his stature on our team."


Hernandez said Cobos will play a key role in UTRGV's efforts to advance cancer care under the new Cancer and Surgery Center and through the new Medicine & Oncology Department by leading collaboratively with other leaders to enhance the UTRGV South Texas Center of Excellence in Cancer Research.   

"Dr. Cobos will help further current clinical research in cancer and diabetes in collaboration with current scientific teams," she said. "He looks forward to the opportunity to help develop the School of Medicine in its mission to transform the health of the Valley through advanced academic medicine, especially through the five pillars of our strategic plan."

Along with other cancer clinicians and researchers from the academic medical institution, he will develop innovative clinical trials and provide state-of-the-art cancer care to help address an underserved healthcare need in the region.

"The Medicine and Oncology department will provide unprecedented education and research opportunities for our physicians and students," Cobos said.


Cobos is a veteran of the U.S. Army, and a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Hematology, and the American Federation for Medical Research. He brings multiple years of experience as an accomplished clinician-educator-researcher in hematology and medical oncology.

Before joining the UTRGV School of Medicine, Cobos served as Health Sciences clinical professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He was vice chair of Medicine at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and chair of Medicine at Kern Medical.

He previously served as dean of Oncology Programs at Texas Tech School of Medicine and was director of the University Medical Center Southwest Cancer Center in Lubbock. He also operated as a tenured medicine professor and Hematology-Oncology Division director at Texas Tech. 

A border-community native of El Paso, Cobos said he looks forward to working with the South Texas community and bringing new cancer care opportunities to those who most need it.

"I'm so happy to be here, and I'm encouraged by the enthusiasm we see here every day," he said. "We're building something here, and that is exciting."

Cobos practices medicine in Weslaco and Harlingen. To contact him or for more information, visit UT Health RGV or call (956) 296-HOPE.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.