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Message from the Dean




Dear Colleagues:

College of Medicine Enhancement of Team Science (COMETS) Program

We are pleased to announce the College of Medicine Enhancement of Team Science (COMETS) Program, which is being implemented with the goal of helping to restore federally funded research programs for active mid-career and senior investigators by supporting newly established research teams.  Teams consisting of two faculty members in the same or different departments may self-nominate or be nominated by their department chair(s).  Funding in the amount of $150,000/year for two years will be provided to up to two teams in this initial application cycle.  The expected outcome from each team is the submission of two competitive NIH R01 proposals (or equivalent), one from each PI, in two years.  More information on this program can be found at  The request for applications will be sent to College of Medicine faculty next Tuesday, August 5.  Nominations/letters of intent are due September 15, with selection of teams to submit full applications announced by October 1.  Please direct any questions about this new program to Dr. Craig Crosson (

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MUSC Receives Quest for Quality Award

Last week, MUSC was recognized at the American Hospital Association’s Quest for Quality award ceremony.  Dr. Pat Cawley, Executive Director/CEO of MUHA and Vice President for Clinical Operations, was in attendance to receive a Citation for Merit on behalf of MUSC.  This award recognizes the hard work undertaken by our clinicians, administrators, and others to provide high quality, patient-centered care in an environment emphasizing the importance of patient safety.  Congratulations on this recognition of the important work that takes place at MUSC each and every day.

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Search Update - Dean, College of Graduate Studies

Earlier this week, the search committee for the position of Dean, College of Graduate Studies provided an update on the status of this search.  The following individuals have accepted invitations to interview over the next several weeks- Dr. Dwayne Godwin, Professor and Dean, College of Graduate Studies, Wake Forest University; Dr. Jacqueline McGinty, Professor and Interim Dean, College of Graduate of Studies, MUSC; Dr. Rick Schnellmann, Professor and Chair, Drug Discovery & Biomedical Sciences, MUSC; and Dr. Paula Traktman, Professor and Chair, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Medical College of Wisconsin.  Each candidate will be presenting a seminar as a part of the interview process.  The first candidate is Dr. McGinty, and her seminar on “Stress, Addiction, and Cultivating the Mind of Future Biomedical Scientists” is scheduled for August 5 at 12:00 p.m. in 100 Basic Science Building.  All interested members of the college are encouraged to attend this seminar.

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COM Online Master's Program

Teams of three faculty members are forming to staff the development and teaching of blocks in our MS in Integrated Preclinical Medicine (MSIPM) program.  There are still openings in most blocks; specifics are available at  The online materials for this program will also be repurposed as part of a pilot three-year MD program, pending approval of the LCME.

The MSIPM is a component in an innovative strategy to reduce the cost of medical education for students, to enrich the learning and teaching experience for many in the College of Medicine, to generate funds to support the educational mission of the College, and to open new areas of research and scholarship to our faculty.  A forum for sharing news, background information, and a FAQ about the program can be found at  If you are interested in participating in the program, please contact Ben Curry (

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Physician Payment Sunshine Act - Open Payments System Registration

The MUSC Conflict of Interest Office has created a web page to guide physicians in the registration process related to the Physician Payment Sunshine Act.  That resource is available at  Physicians and teaching hospitals can now begin registering in the Open Payments system; although registration is voluntary, it becomes a mandatory process if physicians want the opportunity to review and dispute data submitted by manufacturers and group purchasing organizations prior to public posting on September 30, 2014.  In order to review or dispute data submitted by industry for the 2013 reporting period, physicians must be registered and have reviewed any data reported about them on or before August 27, 2014.  More information on this topic can be found at  For more information about Open Payments, please visit

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Abstracts Being Accepted for the 2014 Perry V. Halushka MUSC Research Day

The 2014 Perry V. Halushka MUSC Research Day will be held November 13-14.  Research Day is open to all students, postdocs, residents, fellows, and research specialists at MUSC, as well as students, postdocs, residents, and fellows at other institutions who have participated in programs of research at MUSC over the past year.  The abstract submission deadline is September 19 – one abstract per presenter is allowed; oral and poster formats are available.  Links to submit an abstract as well as information about poster and oral presentations will be posted soon at  Please direct any questions to Dr. Steven Kubalak (

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Faculty and Staff Breakfast Meetings

As I mentioned in last week’s message, we will be resuming breakfast meetings open to all faculty and staff in the college who would like to meet with me about topics of interest.  This was a practice I instituted during my first year as dean and continued during the 2012-2013 academic year until the demand waned.  Since some time has passed, I’m hoping that there will be renewed interest in these meetings.  Faculty and staff who are interested in attending a breakfast meeting with me should contact Anita Harrell ( to get on the schedule.

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College of Medicine Staff Management Development Program

The College of Medicine is implementing a management development program for our staff, with the goal of training and better preparing our current administrators and potential leaders.  We heard from College of Medicine staff in the employee engagement survey conducted this spring that many feel there are not sufficient career development opportunities currently provided at MUSC.  This new program will provide an orientation to the MUSC enterprise (approximately 70% of the program) as well as some soft skill training (approximately 30% of program).   A class of approximately 20 individuals will be selected to participate in this new program, which will require attendance at two-hour sessions two-to-three times per month over the course of the academic year.  More information about this program, including application details and a list of meeting topics, can be found at  Interested staff members are encouraged to apply for this program.  Applications are due August 8, and the course will begin September 4.

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Faculty Bridge Funding Program

A primary goal of the College of Medicine is to support and strengthen research capabilities of our faculty.  One mechanism utilized to facilitate this goal is our Bridge Funding Program.  The purpose of this program is to support investigators with established clinical or basic research programs during periods when a competitive renewal was not funded.  Program details and the application format are available at  The application deadline for the current cycle is August 15.  Applications may be emailed to Mary McConnell at  Faculty with questions about this program should contact Senior Associate Dean for Research Craig Crosson.

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SCTR Fall Scientific Retreat

The SCTR Fall Scientific Retreat has been scheduled for Thursday, October 30, in the Bioengineering Building Auditorium on the topic of "Making Tobacco History: Accelerating Efforts to Reduce the Harm Caused by Tobacco."  The keynote speakers include John R. Seffrin, PhD (Chief Executive Officer, American Cancer Society, Inc.) and Jonathan M. Samet, MD, MS (Senior Editor, Surgeon General's Report 2014, Distinguished Professor and Flora L. Thornton Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, Director, USC Institute for Global Health).  A reception will follow in the Bioengineering Lobby.  Registration is free but required – those wishing to submit an abstract must do so by September 12 and those wishing to attend the retreat must register by October 10.  More information, including how to register, can be found at

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Town Hall Meetings

As a reminder, I will elaborate on our collective accomplishments over the past year and on our plans for the future in my annual State of the College address, which will be held on Monday, September 8, at 4:00 p.m., in 110 Drug Discovery Building.  As we continue to implement the university-wide funds flow process and as financial pressures continue to challenge our institution, I will also be presenting a Town Hall meeting focused on college financial issues – this will be held on Monday, September 15, at 4:00 p.m., in 110 Drug Discovery Building.  I hope all members of the college who are interested will plan to attend these meetings.  In addition, we will be holding quarterly Town Hall meetings going forward as an opportunity to discuss topics of interest – these will be open to all members of the college and dates will be announced through my weekly emails as they are confirmed.  As always, I look forward to hearing your input and feedback.

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Discussion Forums

As a reminder, we have electronic discussion platforms focusing on various aspects of our mission.  These forums are intended to serve several purposes.  First, they are another way for my office to share important information with faculty, staff, and students.  Second, they are meant to encourage discussion about issues within the college and to empower everyone within the college to voice their opinions.  These “discussion forums” are intended to be not only channels for messages to be sent out, but channels for YOUR ideas, comments and questions to be heard by college leadership.  Your voice matters and we are pleased there is a new way for it to be heard.  You can access these forums by using the following links and your net ID and password:

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Etta D. Pisano, MD

Vice President for Medical Affairs

Dean, College of Medicine


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