Aerial view of the MUSC campus.

History of the College of Medicine

College of Medicine History, 2010 to Present

On July 1, 2010, Etta D. Pisano, M.D., became the first female dean of the MUSC College of Medicine. A radiologist by training, Dr. Pisano’s professional interests centered around the development, application, and testing of imaging technology for the early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer and other breast problems. A member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Pisano served as President of the Association of University Radiologists and the American Association for Women Radiologists. Among other honors, Dr. Pisano was a recipient of the Gold Medal from the Association of University Radiologists, the American Roentgen Ray Society, and the Radiological Society of North America, and was recognized with the National Women’s History Museum Helen Taussig Living Legacy Award.

Significant milestones achieved during Dr. Pisano’s tenure as dean included the Hollings Cancer Center’s re-designation as a National Cancer Institute, the development of a more integrated and expanded Health care system, the creation of a new Department of Public Health Sciences, and the creation of a new Center for Genomic Medicine. Dr. Pisano recruited and appointed many leaders during her tenure, including 11 departmental chairs. The groundwork was laid for the separation of the combined Department of Neurosciences into distinct departments of Neurology, Neurosciences, and Neurosurgery. The Division of Basic Sciences was dissolved, and the departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cell and Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and Microbiology and Immunology returned to their former independent states within the college.

The College of Medicine achieved full LCME reaccreditation following a successful site visit in January 2013. In addition, groundwork was laid for the establishment of a clinical training program of the MUSC College of Medicine at AnMed Health in Anderson, South Carolina. The Opening Doors Medical Student Scholarship Program was launched in 2012, with an initial target of raising $20 million in medical scholarship funds, in support of the goal of ensuring the doors of the college remain open to those who most deserve to be here. Two mechanisms were established to help support research faculty within the college. A Bridge Funding Program was initiated in FY11 to provide support for successful researchers with established clinical or basic research programs during periods when a competitive renewal was not funded. The College of Medicine Enhancement of Team Science program was established in FY14 with the goal of restoring federally funded research programs by active mid-career and senior investigators by supporting newly established research teams.

David J. Cole, MD, was inaugurated as President of the Medical University of South Carolina effective July 1, 2014. Dr. Cole had previously served as Chair of the MUSC Department of Surgery and President of MUSC Physicians, and has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading surgeons over the past decade. In addition to his clinical expertise, Dr. Cole has a strong research background with more than 17 years of continuous funding by NIH. A member of numerous professional and scientific societies including the American Association for Cancer Research, American Surgical Society, Southern Surgical Association, AAMC Council of Academic Societies, Society of University Surgeons, Halsted Society, and International Society of Surgery, Dr. Cole has held many leadership positions including his role as president for the Southeastern Surgical Congress.

Under Dr. Cole’s leadership, MUSC launched the Imagine MUSC 2020 strategic plan, with five core tenets of Patients First; Innovative Education and Learning; Healthy Communities; Diversity and Inclusion; and Scientific Discoveries. Dr. Cole also guided the formation of MUSC Health, comprised of the Medical University Hospital and MUSC Physicians.

Following the conclusion of Dr. Pisano’s tenure as dean, Dr. Deborah Deas was appointed interim dean in September 2014. Dr. Deas had previously served as Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education and Senior Associate Dean for Diversity in the College of Medicine. Progress continued with the establishment of a clinical training program at AnMed Health and the first MUSC students began their third year clinical rotations at AnMed in the summer of 2015. The Department of Public Health Sciences received approval to establish three new Masters of Public Health degrees in Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Health Behavior and Health Promotion; the first students enrolled in these programs in fall of 2015.

Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., was named dean of the College of Medicine in March 2016, having previously served as Executive Director at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University; Provost and Executive Vice President at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; Director of Vanderbilt University’s Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition; and as Director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

A gastroenterologist, Dr. DuBois is an internationally renowned expert for his studies on the molecular and genetic basis for colorectal cancer. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and Past President of AACR, the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation, and the International Society for Gastrointestinal Cancer. He is also a member of the American Clinical and Climatological Association, the Royal College of Physicians, the Association of American Physicians, and the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

Dean DuBois took on the additional role of Director of MUSC Hollings Cancer Center in August of 2020.  In 2022, after serving the College of Medicine for six years, DuBois made the decision to step down from his role as Dean effective April 1 to focus on the critical task ahead of achieving comprehensive NCI status for the Hollings Cancer Center.

MUSC leadership selected Terrence E. “Terry” Steyer, M.D., FAAFP, to serve as Interim Dean of the College of Medicine effective April 1, 2022.  Following an extensive national search, the MUSC Board of Trustees elected Dr. Steyer Dean of the College of Medicine and Vice President for Medical Affairs in December of 2022.

History of the Medical College, 1824 to 2010