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Etta Pisano, MD

Etta Pisano, MD


Staff Radiologist, Breast Imaging, BIDMC
Vice Chair of Research, Department of Radiology, BIDMC
Professor in Residence of Radiology, Harvard Medical School


Dr. Etta Pisano, Dean Emerita, College of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has joined the Department of Radiology at BIDMC as Vice Chair of Research and a member of staff in the Division of Breast Imaging.

In June 2010, we congratulated Dr. Pisano when she became Dean at MUSC. Previously, she served as the Kenan Professor of Radiology, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of the Biomedical Research Imaging Center, and Director of the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Studies Institute at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. She also completed residency training in radiology at Beth Israel Hospital (becoming Chief Resident in 1986) and completed fellowship training in Body CT and Ultrasound. In 2004, she graduated from the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program (ELAM) fellowship at Drexel University, Philadelphia and in 2013 she served as a fellow at the Riley Institute's Diversity Leadership Initiative at Furman University in Greenville, SC. She is an expert in breast cancer imaging and served as the Chief of Breast Imaging at UNC Hospitals from 1989 to 2005.

Dr. Pisano's professional interests center around the development, application and testing of imaging technology for the early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer and other breast problems. She is a past President of the Association of University Radiologists, a Gold Medalist of the American Roentgen Ray Society and past President of the American Association for Women Radiologists, and has been named by Diagnostic Imaging magazine as one of the 20 most influential people in radiology. She served as the Principal Investigator of the largest clinical trial ever run by a radiologist, the Digital Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial (DMIST), which enrolled 49,528 women in a study comparing digital to film mammography, the results of which were published in 2005 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Pisano was awarded one of the first Ladies' Home Journal Health Breakthrough Awards and in 2008 she was elected as a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.


Radiology (Body CT and Ultrasound), Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA 1987-1988
Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program (ELAM), Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 2003-2004
AUR-Kodak Radiology Management Course, Association of University Radiologists, Montreal, Quebec 2005
Fellow, Riley Institute Diversity Leadership Initiative, Furman University Greenville, SC 2013-2014


Radiology, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA 1984-1988

Medical School

Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC 1979-1983

Research Interests

SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine, Buffalo, NY  2006

Research Interests

Breast Imaging Education
Diffraction Enhanced Imaging (DEI)
Improving breast cancer detection and diagnosis, i.e, breast computed tomography and tomosynthesis