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Etta D. Pisano, M.D.
Vice President for Medical Affairs
Dean, College of Medicine

Dear Colleagues:

Graduation Week Activities

What a wonderful week this has been!  The Pearls Lecture took place on Wednesday morning, featuring opening remarks by Class of 2014 President Laura Murray and words of wisdom from Drs. Stephen Schabel, Walter Brzezinski, and Stephanie Montgomery.  The University’s Honors Graduate Luncheon was held on Wednesday afternoon.  Four College of Medicine graduates were among those honored – Nyssa Fox (Doctor of Medicine, First Honor Graduate), Rahul Loungani (Doctor of Medicine, First Honor Graduate), Anna-Maria De Costa (Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy, Distinguished Graduate Student Award, and Daniel Grass (Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy, Distinguished Graduate Student Award).  Congratulations to our Honors Graduates and their families!  We are proud of your accomplishments!

Later in the day, we celebrated the many accomplishments of the Class of 2014 at the Awards Convocation.  There were a number of awards conferred on our students; a copy of the full program can be found at  In addition to the many students who were recognized at this event, the Class of 2014 honored one of our faculty members, Dr. Leonie Gordon, 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.  Congratulations to all the award recipients and their families!

Yesterday a lunch was held for the “Golden Grads”, honoring and celebrating the Class of 1964.  We appreciate our alumni returning to MUSC to celebrate the commencement activities with us.  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. Alvin Lee Lewis and Class President Laura Murray spoke at the event.  We then had the hooding ceremony followed by the Oath.  As always, it was a 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 our new tradition (as of 2012) of the students selecting individuals who have played significant roles in our graduating students’ lives as their hooders.  Capping off a wonderful week of celebrations, Commencement was held earlier today.  Congratulations to all our graduates and their families!

Members of the Class of 2014 are now embarking on their next adventure – residency training, new experiences, new colleagues.  We are pleased 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 proud of you, and hope you will return often to your alma mater.  I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of the individuals who worked so very hard to make the graduation week activities such a success.

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Remembering Dr. Scott Argraves

Many of us have been greatly affected by the recent passing of our colleague and friend, Dr. Scott Argraves.  Scott joined the MUSC faculty in 1995, most recently serving as Full Professor and Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Regenerative Medicine and Director of the Proteogenomics Center.  He contributed greatly to the department, college and institution over the course of his career, through the high-quality research conducted in his laboratory, his service as a teacher and mentor to students and junior faculty, and service on committees including the College of Medicine Space Committee, APT Committee, and Research Leadership Team.  I first got to know Scott through his service on the COM Research Strategic Plan Committee I organized shortly after my arrival at MUSC, and was consistently impressed by his dedication and commitment to MUSC and the colleagues he valued so greatly.  His devotion to MUSC paled in comparison, however, to the love he had for his wife, Kelley, who is also on our faculty in the Department of Regenerative Medicine, and their two daughters.

Scott meant a great deal to many of us personally through his roles as teacher, friend, and mentor.  He has left behind an incredible legacy, and will be greatly missed by all whose lives he touched.

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Message from Interim President Mark Sothmann

Earlier this week, an email was sent on behalf of Interim President Mark Sothmann to all MUSC employees providing the third installment of “The CORNER” video series.  This installment features Bo Faulkner, Secretary to the MUSC Board of Trustees and Legislative Liaison for MUSC, and Mark Sweatman, State Government Relations-MUHA, discussing the College of Charleston merger and Legislative priorities for MUSC.  The video can be viewed at

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Epic Q&A Drop-In Sessions

The Epic Team has begun offering Q&A Drop-in Sessions open to all members of the faculty and staff who have any questions related to the Epic project, Epic training, etc.  Sessions are currently scheduled for 9:00-10:00 a.m. on the following dates- May 22 (1st floor ART Auditorium); May 27 (Storm Eye Auditorium); May 30 (1st floor ART Auditorium); June 6, 13, 20, and 27 (1st floor ART Auditorium); and July 3 and 10 (1st floor ART Auditorium).  All those with questions are encouraged to attend one of these sessions.  For additional information, please contact Rebecca Freeman at

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ARROWS Programs for Women Scientists

The Center for ARROWS has established two programs for women scientists that are supported by the recently funded NSF ADVANCE grant.  The External Grant Review Program will facilitate/arrange for and pay an external expert in the faculty member’s field of study to complete an NIH style in-depth review of the faculty member’s research grant application (NIH, VA, DOD, Foundation, etc.).  The external grant review is currently available for women faculty submitting research grants as the PI.  For more information or to request an external grant review please visit:

The Short-Term Teleconferencing Program includes an iPad loaded with HIPAA compliant software for use while on leave that can be used to hold/attend meetings, student presentations/defenses and remain in contact with lab personnel/staff.  The teleconferencing equipment is currently available to all women faculty.  For more information or to request use of this equipment please visit:

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Tools for Mentors and Mentees Presentation

The Apple Tree Society and the Mentor Leadership Council invite all faculty and staff to the next presentation in a series on Tools for Mentors and Mentees - “Negotiation Skills” – presented by Dr. Barbara Edlund.  This session will be held on May 21 at 12:00 p.m. in Room 405 of the Library.

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Annual CATTS Mandatory Training

All employees must complete the University’s annual CATTS mandatory training modules by the June 30 deadline.  The system is easily accessed online at using your NetID and password.  Questions regarding this training should be directed to your supervisor or respective human resources office.

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Drug Discovery Symposium

The MUSC Center for Drug Discovery and SCTR will be hosting a Drug Discovery Symposium on May 28, 8:30-5:00 p.m.  The symposium will showcase 12 ideas, biological targets and/or potential drug discovery projects selected from ongoing research at MUSC.  The Symposium will be followed by a networking event in the Bioengineering Building Lobby sponsored by the Biotechnology Interest Group, Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurialism, and the Foundation for Research Development.  Interested faculty are encouraged to attend; for more information and to register, please visit

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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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As always....

Let's work together to meet our strategic planning goal - to be in the Top 25 among academic medical centers for reputation, quality, service, efficiency and financial performance by 2015 – and to continue excellence in our research and education missions.  I look forward to hearing from you - either in person or via email.



Etta D. Pisano, MD

Vice President for Medical Affairs

Dean, College of Medicine