Thomas Pisanic, Ii

Thomas Pisanic, Ii

Work experience

Work experience
Jan 2013 - Present

Senior Research Scientist

Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology
  • Direct manager of the development of translational research of novel technologies for cancer diagnostics
  • Principal liaison between the lab of Jeff Wang, Ph.D. with Stephen Baylin, M.D. and James Herman, M.D. for epigenetic diagnostic technologies
  • Acting mentor of graduate students in the development of related technologies
2004 - 2011


MagneSensors, Inc.
  • Principal manager of development of in vitro diagnostic and cell/cell-based assays
  • Successfully developed numerous diagnostic assays for various programs including: rare cells, bacteria/sepsis, inflammatory molecules, nucleic acids and intracellular proteins
  • Tailored-made nanoparticle labels via innovative bioconjugation strategies
  • Customized nanoparticles, modified reagents and optimized sample prep resulting in:
    • 300-fold increase in signal to noise in human matrix assays (e.g., blood)
    • 5-fold decrease in total assay time
    • Drastically increased antibody modification and reagent efficacy
    • Minimized blood and sample handling
  • Primary contributing writer on more than 20 grant proposals with an acceptance rate over 40%
  • Analyzed, organized and presented data and assay results from multiple simultaneous projects
  • Trained and managed several research associates (serially)
  • Independently consulted with academic collaborators leading toward further development of iron oxide nanotoxicological investigations as well as several review publications and chapter
2003 - 2005

Senior Research Associate and Graduate Student Researcher

UCSD Department of Bioengineering – Cellular Biomagnetics
  • Investigated nanotoxicology of magnetic nanoparticles, resulting in Biomaterials cover article
  • Synthesized magnetic nanoparticles for in vitro cellular assays, patent filed as a result
  • Optimized cell culture reagents to simultaneously maximize cell viability and nanoparticle stability
  • Coordinated purchasing and established general lab infrastructure and research direction
  • Simultaneously managed and mentored three undergraduate researchers and projects
  • Routinely performed cell culture, immunofluorescence and scanning electron microscopy
2000 - 2003

Graduate Student Researcher

UCSD Department of Bioengineering - Microscale Tissue Engineering
  • Developed novel P450 drug metabolism assays amenable to high-throughput platforms
  • Engineered custom microfabricated devices for optoelectronic cell sorting and drug assays
  • Investigated culture and co-culture techniques for cell-based P450 assays
1997 - 1998

Research Associate

Johns Hopkins University – Autoimmunological Tolerance Lab
  • Assisted in research on the coxsackievirus and its induction of autoimmune myocarditis
  • Routinely performed in vivo animal work with murine immune response model system
  • Utilized various research techniques including: ELISA, ELISpot and mammalian cell culture




  • Well-qualified Scientist with 12 years of hands-on biomedical research experience, including 7 years in the development of commercial in vitro diagnostic and cell assays
  • Solid experience base in numerous research areas such as: bacterial and mammalian cell culture, immunodiagnostics, nucleic acid diagnostics, cell-based diagnostics and novel bioconjugation chemistries
  • Diverse range of abilities including project management, data analysis, research design, grant writing and technical communication, high creativity and excellent verbal communication skills
  • Extensive experience working in cross-disciplinary and translational research projects and teams
  • Superior academic record at top biomedical research institutions


A challenging and interesting position as a Senior-level Scientist in a high-growth Maryland-based biotechnology company or institution.

Honors and Awards

  • National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, 2001-2004
  • Tau Beta Pi - Maryland Alpha Chapter, National Engineering Honor Society
  • Alpha Eta Mu Beta, Biomedical Engineering Honor Society
  • Tau Beta Pi Scholarship, 1998
  • Society of American Military Engineers Scholarship, 1997
  • William Brown Baxley Engineering Scholarship, 1995-1999

Publications and Patents

1.        Soenen SJH, Himmelrich U, Nuytten N, Pisanic II TR, Ferrari A, De Cuyper M. Intracellular Nanoparticle Coating Stability Determines Nanoparticle Diagnostics Efficacy and Cell Functionality. Small, 6(19): 2136-2145, 2010.

2.        Pisanic II TR, Shubayev VI, Jin S. Iron Oxide Magnetic Nanoparticle Nanotoxicity - Incidence and Mechanisms. Nanotoxicology: From In Vivo and In Vitro Models to Health Risks. John Wiley & Sons, Chippenham. 2009.

3.        Shubayev VI, Pisanic II TR, Jin S. Magnetic nanoparticles for theragnostics. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 61(6): 467-477, 2009.

4.        Pisanic II TR, Blackwell JD, Shubayev V, Fiñones RR, Jin S. Nanotoxicity of iron oxide nanoparticle internalization in growing neurons. Biomaterials, 28 (16): 2572-2581, 2007.

5.        Oh S, Daraio C, Chen LH, Pisanic TR, Fiñones RR, Jin S. Significantly accelerated osteoblast cell growth on aligned TiO2 nanotubes. J. of Biomed. Mat. Res. Part A, 78A (1): 97-103, 2006.

6.        S. Jin and T. R. Pisanic, "Article and Apparatus for Remote Magnetically Induced Treatment of Cancer and Other Diseases, and Method for Operating Such Article", patent filed , 2004.

7.        Ozkan M, Pisanic T, Sheel J, Barrow C, Esener S, Bhatia S. Electro-Optical Platform for the Manipulation of Live Cells. Langmuir 19(5): 1532-1538, 2003.

Key Person for Following Selected SBIR Grants (all at MagneSensors)

1R43AI093039-01                       DiIorio (PI)                                                                          02/01/10 - 11/30/11


Optimized Magnetic Nanoparticle Labels for Ultra-Sensitive Sepsis Diagnostics

The aim of the program is the development of next generation magnetic nanoparticle labels for ultra high sensitivity immunoassays for pathogenic bacteria.

Role: Principal Assay Development Scientist

AI084298                     DiIorio (PI)                                                                        08/01/09 - 07/31/11

NIH/NIAID Phase I SBIR                     

Ultra-sensitive magnetic assays for quantitative detection of nucleic acids without amplification

The program is centered at developing an ultra-sensitive magnetic assay to quantitatively detect nucleic acids without the need for PCR or other amplification.

Role: Principal Assay Development Scientist

1R43CA134249-01                    DiIorio (PI)                                                                          08/1/08 - 07/31/11

NIH/NCI Phase I SBIR                         

Ultra high sensitivity mix and measure immunoassays in blood

The aim is to develop very sensitive immunoassays directly in blood without any wash steps. 

Role: Principal Assay Development Scientist

9R44CA132533-03                      DiIorio (PI)                                                                        08/01/08-07/31/11

NIH/NCI Phase II SBIR                                   

Nanotechnology based magnetic detection for rare cell assays

(includes 2 year ARRA supplement 3R44CA132533-04S1)

The main goal of this nanotechnology-based program is to develop optimized magnetic sensors and magnetic nanoparticles to permit sensitive cell surface receptor assays on rare cells.

Role: Principal Assay Development Scientist

1R43DK080634-01                     DiIorio (PI)                                                                       09/01/07-08/31/09


Quantitative Intracellular Magnetic Assays on Live Cells

The goal of the program is the development of quantitative intracellular magnetic assays for rapid determination of protein levels in rare cells.

Role: Principal Assay Development Scientist

1R43HL080655-01A1                  DiIorio (PI)                                                                     07/01/05-06/30/06

NIH/NHLBI Phase I SBIR       

In Vivo Molecular Imaging using Magnetic Detection

The aim of the program is the demonstration of in vivo measurement of binding interactions in small animals using magnetic sensors and magnetic nanoparticle labels.

Role: Principal Assay Development Scientist                                                                                         

1 U01 AI066578-01                    DiIorio (PI)                                                                           07/15/05-06/30/09

NIH NIAID  Research Project Cooperative Agreement: Sepsis and CAP 

Ultra-sensitive magnetic assays for sepsis diagnostics

The goal of this program is to develop diagnostic magnetic cell assays for sepsis.

Role: Principal Assay Development Scientist