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Message from the Dean


Etta D. Pisano, M.D.

Vice President for Medical Affairs
Dean, College of Medicine

Dear Colleagues:

What a wonderful week this has been!  On Wednesday morning there was the Pearls Lecture and Class Roast, followed by the University’s Honors Graduate Luncheon, where four College of Medicine graduates were among those honored.  Those individuals are Laura Smith (Doctor of Medicine, First Honor Graduate), Andrew Voris (Second Honor Graduate), Russell Jenkins (Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy, Distinguished Graduate Student Award), and Khaled Moussawi (Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy, Distinguished Graduate Student Award).  Later in the day, we celebrated the accomplishments of the Class of 2012 at the Awards Convocation.  In addition to the many students who were recognized at this event, the Class of 2012 honored one of our faculty members, Dr. Ashlyn Savage, with the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Faculty Award presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, for her consistent demonstration of compassion and empathy in the delivery of care to patients and her service as a role model.

Yesterday we had a lunch for the “Golden Grads”, honoring and celebrating the Class of 1962.  It was wonderful to have those alumni return to campus to celebrate the commencement activities with us - their appreciation for and commitment to their alma mater was quite evident.  The Oath Ceremony was held last night at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center.  Dr. Donna Kern gave the invocation at the ceremony, and Dr. Chris Pelic and Class President Ankit Patel spoke at the event.  We then had the hooding ceremony followed by the Oath.  It was a real privilege to take part in the ritual that marks the passage of our students into the profession of medicine.  It was made more meaningful by having individuals who have played significant roles in our graduating students’ lives participate in the hooding itself  Capping off a wonderful week of celebrations, Commencement was held earlier today.

Members of the Class of 2012 are now embarking on their next adventure – residency training, new experiences, new colleagues.  We are fortunate that some members of the class will be staying with us for their training, and we wish all of our graduates the very best in their future endeavors.  We are so very proud of you, and we hope that you will return often to your alma mater.  I would like to thank all of the individuals who worked so very hard to make the commencement activities such a success; I am so very appreciative of your efforts.

Two candidates will be interviewing for the Biochemistry Chair position next week.  Dr. Brian O’Rourke will be giving a seminar next Tuesday, May 22, 11:00 a.m., in 100 Basic Science Building on the topic of “Central role of mitochondrial dysfunction in cardiac disease”.  Dr. O’Rourke is currently Professor of Medicine and Director of the Bernard Laboratory of Fundamental Research in Preventive Cardiology at Johns Hopkins University.  Dr. Richard Fishel will be giving a seminar next Thursday, May 24, 10:00 a.m. in 100 Basic Science Building on the topic of “Mismatch Repair and Cancer: from single molecule analysis to the clinic”.  Dr. Fishel is currently Professor and Vice Chair of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Medical Genetics, a member of the Human Cancer Genetics Program, and Professor of Physics at Ohio State University.  All members of the college are invited to attend these seminars.

Earlier this week the Women Scholars Initiative and Office of the Provost announced the faculty members selected as 2012-2013 John R. Raymond Fellows.  We were fortunate to have three faculty from the College of Medicine selected for this honor.  Those individuals are – Dr. Megan Baker Ruppel (Department of Surgery), Dr. Kelly Harris (Department of Otolaryngology), and Dr. Kristyn Zajac (Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences).  Please join me in congratulating these faculty on this accomplishment.

Nominations are now being accepted for the Peggy Schachte Research Mentor Award, which was created to recognize individuals at MUSC who have excelled in mentoring faculty in obtaining research support from private and public organizations or government agencies.  The nomination deadline is June 14, and more information about this award can be found at

As always, I look forward to hearing from you via email or when I attend your departmental meetings.

With warm regards,



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