The first female dean of the MUSC College of Medicine is stepping down.

A spokeswoman for the Medical University of South Carolina confirmed Friday that Dr. Etta Pisano will leave the position at the end of the month.

Pisano, who joined MUSC in 2010, will continue as a tenured radiology professor, according to a news release.

She will focus on "her breast cancer imaging research during the next year while on sabbatical. Pisano plans to undertake a major study to evaluate the benefits of modern breast cancer screening with tomosynthesis and digital mammography."

It is the latest in a string of high-profile leadership changes during the past year.

Former President Ray Greenberg left last September for a position with the University of Texas hospital system. He was recently replaced by Dr. David Cole, formerly the chairman of MUSC's surgery department and president of the MUSC physicians group.

Dr. Andrew Kraft, former director of the Hollings Cancer Center, accepted a job at the University of Arizona this summer.

Pisano formerly served as the vice dean for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

"As someone who has worked in academic leadership positions for 30 years, I fully understand and embrace the prerogative of a new University President to choose the members of his leadership team going forward," she said in a prepared statement.

Cole is "currently finalizing conversations" to name Pisano's replacement. He was unavailable for an interview on Friday.

Reach Lauren Sausser at 937-5598.