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MUSC Medical School Dean Receives National Recognition

Dean Etta PisanoEtta D. Pisano, M.D., Dean of the College of Medicine (COM) and Vice President for Medical Affairs, received national recognition for her life’s work in breast imaging and received funding for a new COM program that will advance career opportunities for women scientists.

Dr. Pisano was one of four people honored with a Living Legacy Award at the National Women’s History Museum de Pizan Honors ceremony in Washington, D.C. on October 9, 2013. The awards pay tribute to women who have shaped history. Dr. Pisano is a pioneer in the use of digital imaging to detect and study breast cancer and other breast problems. She was the principal investigator of the largest clinical trial ever run by a radiologist, a study that enrolled 49,528 women for the purpose of comparing digital to film mammography. She has held numerous leadership positions in her field and was named by Diagnostic Imaging magazine as one of the 20 most influential people in the field of radiology. She is the first female dean of MUSC’s COM.

Earlier in the year, Dr. Pisano and a group of COM women faculty members won a $650,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a program that will support the careers of women in science. They are the first recipients from a school of medicine to be awarded funding from the NSF’s ADVANCE program. Under Dr. Pisano’s direction, the MUSC program will be implemented by Ashli J. Sheidow, PhD (Psychiatry); Tamara M. Nowling, PhD (Medicine); Cristina M. Lopez, PhD (Psychiatry); and Rosalie K. Crouch, PhD (Ophthalmology). The team will develop a package of practices and policies that will benefit women basic scientists and that can be easily disseminated to other colleges of medicine. The goal is to increase the number of women basic scientists recruited into colleges of medicine and to improve the retention and advancement of women scientists by achieving critical mass, changing recruitment and promotion practices, and providing key support.