Headshot of Thomas Pisanic. He has dark eyes and no hair with subtle facial hair growth. He is wearing a black suite jacket over a blue button down collared dress shirt.

Thomas R. Pisanic

Associate Research Professor


Thomas Pisanic is an Associate Research Professor and Epidiagnostics Group Investigator at the Institute for NanoBioTechnology in the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering and the Department of Oncology in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He also serves as BTC Scientist in the Break Through Cancer foundation.

Pisanic’s overall research goal is to develop novel, noninvasive and cost-effective strategies that are clinically-practical for the early detection of diseases, with cancer as his focus. Pisanic’s lab uses innovative multi-analyte molecular techniques with advanced biostatistical and bioinformatic analyses to create new paradigms for cancer diagnostics. His current research is focused on characterizing DNA methylation alterations associated with early-stage carcinogenesis and leveraging novel epigenetic analysis strategies for early and companion diagnostic applications for noninvasive detection of lung, colon, and ovarian cancers from various sample types including blood, stool, sputum, and Pap specimens.

With over 20 years of experience working in academic and industrial sectors, Pisanic has developed a uniquely broad background for the development of a diverse array of translational clinical diagnostic approaches. He has made significant contributions in the fields of cancer epigenetics, diagnostic assay development, microfluidics and nanotechnology, and has co-authored over 30 publications. Pisanic is also passionate about creating and promoting new forms of team-based science governance to facilitate strong, interdisciplinary collaborations for developing innovative solutions to challenging problems in biomedicine.

Pisanic received his doctoral degree in bioengineering in 2006 under the direction of Dr. Sungho Jin and Dr. Xiaohua Huang at the University of California San Diego. From 2003 – 2011, he served as head of diagnostic assay development at MagneSensors, a [now-defunct] biotech startup located in San Diego. He also has a MS degree (2002) in bioengineering from University of California San Diego, as well as BS and BA degrees (1999) in biomedical and electrical engineering, respectively, from Johns Hopkins University.