Isaac Pence, PhD is an Assistant Professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Charles and Jane Pak Center for Mineral Metabolism and Clinical Research. He is also appointed as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at UT Dallas.

Prior to UT Southwestern, Dr. Pence completed a Whitaker International Postdoctoral Fellowship at Imperial College London in the group of Dr. Molly Stevens, developing novel optical and computational approaches for applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. He completed further postdoctoral training in the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Medical School under Dr. Conor Evans. There, Dr. Pence worked on applications of coherent Raman imaging to visualize and quantify the pharmacokinetics of topically applied drugs and characterize tissue response to treatment, created sparse spectral methods for stimulated Raman scattering microscopy, and constructed a portable coherent Raman imaging system for multimodal in vivo cutaneous imaging.

Dr. Pence received his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Vanderbilt University under the guidance of Dr. Anita Mahadevan-Jansen. During his graduate work, he developed and translated label-free noninvasive optical tools for surgical guidance and Raman spectroscopic characterization of numerous tissues and diseases including inflammatory bowel disease and skin cancer.

He has demonstrated a commitment to translating technologies and to research excellence through contributions to numerous funded research grant and individual fellowship awards. 

Dr. Pence's research group is focused on the development of novel optical tools for noninvasive characterization of disease and quantitative longitudinal monitoring of therapeutic response. This work lies at the intersection of translational biophotonics, computational analysis, and clinical medicine, and his group is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture while training and mentoring the next generation of biomedical engineers and scientists.


Vanderbilt University (2010), Biomedical Engineering
Graduate School
Vanderbilt University (2012), Biomedical Engineering
Graduate School
Vanderbilt University (2016), Biomedical Engineering

Research Interest

  • Cutaneous manifestations of systemic disease
  • Development and application of multivariate models and computational analysis
  • Instrumentation development and control
  • Raman Spectroscopy and coherent Raman imaging
  • Translational biophotonics


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Cryoneurolysis with Injectable Ice Slurry Modulates Mechanical Skin Pain.
Moradi Tuchayi S, Wang Y, Khodorova A, Pence IJ, Evans CL, Anderson RR, Lerner EA, Woolf CJ, Garibyan L, J Invest Dermatol 2022 Aug
Full Recovery after Multiple Treatments with Injectable Ice Slurry.
Moradi Tuchayi S, Wang Y, Pence IJ, Fast A, Stemmer-Rachamimov A, Evans CL, Anderson RR, Garibyan L, J Pain Res 2022 15 2905-2910
Single Particle Automated Raman Trapping Analysis of Breast Cancer Cell-Derived Extracellular Vesicles as Cancer Biomarkers.
Penders J, Nagelkerke A, Cunnane EM, Pedersen SV, Pence IJ, Coombes RC, Stevens MM, ACS Nano 2021 Nov

Honors & Awards

  • American Heart Association Second Century Early Faculty Independance Award
  • Vanderbilt University Global Health Case Competition Finalist
  • Whitaker International Scholar Postdoctoral Fellow
  • SPIE Newport Research Excellence Award, SPIE Photonics West
  • NIH Ruth L. Kirschetein National Research Service Award Predoctoral Fellowship

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • University of Texas at Dallas (2023)