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Etta D. Pisano, M.D.

Vice President for Medical Affairs
Dean, College of Medicine


Dear Colleagues:

Town Hall Meetings

Thanks to all who attended my town hall meeting on Wednesday.  I appreciate the opportunity to speak to you and, more importantly, to hear from you directly about issues of importance to the college.  For those unable to attend, a video of the town hall meeting may be viewed at  As you know, I am planning to hold several town hall meetings this winter and spring to further our conversations.  I will be back in touch once a date/time has been scheduled for the next meeting.

Dean’s Office Staffing Review

This past fall, I charged a committee of department chairs with reviewing the staffing levels in the Dean’s Office and asked that they determine if personnel levels are appropriate to conduct the multiple functions of the College of Medicine.  Dr. Phil Costello chaired this committee, which included Drs. David Cole, Peter Kalivas, Tom Keane, Zihai Li, Don Rockey, and Rita Ryan.  A copy of their report can be found at - your questions and comments are welcome.  The committee supported the current structure and staffing levels, and recommended that any future growth be undertaken in a deliberate and data-driven manner.  I appreciate the thorough review undertaken by this committee, and remain committed to ensuring appropriate staffing levels within my office.

AAMC Council of Faculty and Academic Societies

The AAMC is creating a new Council of Faculty and Academic Societies, which will represent faculty’s voice within the AAMC leadership structure.  Each AAMC institution is being asked to designate faculty to serve on this group, which is charged with identifying critical issues facing faculty members of medical schools and providing a voice for faculty about those issues to the AAMC as they relate to creation and implementation of the AAMC’s programs, services and policies.  The AAMC has designated one of the slots for faculty members within 10 years of initial faculty appointment.

I ask that any faculty who are within 10 years of initial faculty appointment and are interested in serving on this AAMC Council please send me their CV and a brief statement of interest by Wednesday, March 6.  Additional information about the work of this Council can be found at

Frontiers of Alzheimer’s Disease Research

The Charleston Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease, with the support of the MUSC Center on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Research and Clinical Programs, will present a symposium on “Frontiers of Alzheimer’s Disease Research” on Thursday, February 28, from 12:30-4:15 p.m. in 110 Bioengineering Building.  No registration is required and all are welcome to attend.  More information about this symposium can be found at

9th Annual Aging Research Day

The MUSC Center on Aging will be hosting the South Carolina Aging Research Network’s 9th Annual Aging Research Day on Friday, March 8, at Charles Towne Landing.  This conference focuses on maintaining cognitive health with aging, healthy aging and age-related disorders.  Additional information and details on how to register can be found at

SCOR Request For Pilot Project Proposals

In order to catalyze women's health-related research throughout the MUSC campus, the Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) on Sex and Gender Factors Affecting Women’s Health is pleased to announce a request for pilot project proposals focused on sex and gender-related issues in neuroscience.  The pilot program will provide short-term start-up funds (up to $15,000) to promising postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty (less than 5 years from post-doctoral training/terminal degree) to collect initial data for an RO3, R21, or R01 submission.  The project must focus on a neuroscience-related topic and explore either sex/gender differences or disorders/treatments as they uniquely relate to women.  The project can be either clinical or basic science, but consistent with the NIH Roadmap Initiative and the vision of MUSC's South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Institute (SCTR).  Projects involving multidisciplinary teams and/or translational research efforts are especially encouraged.  Applications are due by noon on March 1.  For more information visit or contact Sarah Gainey(

Discussion Forums

As a reminder, we have created new electronic discussion platforms focusing on education, research, clinical affairs, and general information from the Dean’s Office and the College of Medicine.  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:

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.  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