Thomas A Isenbarger JD PhD

Registered United States Patent Attorney

Madison, Wisconsin

email me

updated 26 September 2019


J.D., University of Wisconsin Law School

May 2010, magna cum laude (GPA 3.73/4.0, top 4%)

Articles Editor, Wisconsin Law Review

Order of the Coif

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin Department of Biomolecular Chemistry

May 2001 (GPA 4.0/4.0)

B.S., Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame

May 1994, summa cum laude (GPA 3.9/4.0, class rank 8/1785)


State Bar of Wisconsin

United States Patent and Trademark Office

Legal Work Experience

Casimir Jones SC (Middleton, Wisconsin)

Shareholder, January 2018–present

Attorney, September 2010–December 2017

University of Wisconsin Law School Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic

Member, 2009–2010

Foley & Lardner LLP

Summer Associate, Intellectual Property, summers of 2008 & 2009

Scientific Research Experience

University of Wisconsin Departments of Bacteriology and Plant Pathology

Postdoctoral Scientist, 2004–2007

Research Advisor: Jo Handelsman

Culture-independent analysis of a hypersaline microbial mat community

Metagenomics of soil and insect gut microbial communities

Harvard Medical School Department of Genetics and

Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Molecular Biology

Postdoctoral Fellow, 2001–2004

Research Advisor: Gary Ruvkun

SETG: the Search for Extraterrestrial Genomes

Identification and analysis of small RNAs involved in stem cell-mediated regeneration

University of Wisconsin Department of Biomolecular Chemistry

Postdoctoral Scientist, 2001

Research Advisor: Robert H. Fillingame

Structural studies of E. coli F1F0 ATP synthase subunit a

University of Wisconsin Department of Biomolecular Chemistry

Doctoral Research, 1994–2001

Research Advisor: Mark P. Krebs

Thermodynamic stability of membrane protein oligomerization

Honors & Awards

ABA-BNA Award for Excellence In the Study of Intellectual Property Law

Wisconsin State Bar/UW Law School Academic Achievement Award for Constitutional Law

Finalist (top 5) for University of Wisconsin Law School best student brief competition

University of Wisconsin Law School Dean’s List (for all semesters eligible)

University of Wisconsin Law School Dean’s Academic Achievement Award

National Institutes of Health Ruth Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship

National Institutes of Health Molecular Biophysics Graduate Training Grant

National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship

University of Wisconsin Medical School Garvin Cremer Scholarship

Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation Student Fellowship

University of Notre Dame Outstanding Biochemistry Student, Class of 1994

Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Scholarship


Citations: 1327 (h-index 9; i10-index 9)

Isenbarger, T.A., In re Kubin’s Reinvigorated Nonobviousness Standard for DNA Patents, Wisconsin Law Review 2009(6): 1435–1470 (2010). SSRN:

Friedländer, M., Adamidi, C., Han, T., Lebedeva, S., Isenbarger, T., Hirst, M., Marra, M., Nusbaum, C., Lee, W., Jenkin, J., Sanchez Alvarado, A., Kim, J., Rajewsky, N. High-resolution Profiling and Discovery of Planarian Small RNAs, PNAS 106(28): 11546–11551 (2009). PubMed PDF: Planarian small RNAs PNAS 2009.pdf

Isenbarger, T.A., Carr, C.E., Johnson, S.S., Finney, M., Church, G.M., Gilbert, W., Zuber, M.T., & Ruvkun, G. The Most Conserved Genome Segments for Life Detection on Earth and Other Planets, Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres 38(6): 517–533 (2008). PubMed PDF: Isenbarger, Carr, & Ruvkun OLEB 2008.pdf

Isenbarger, T.A., Finney, M., Handelsman, J., & Ruvkun, G. Miniprimer PCR, a New Lens for Viewing the Microbial World, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 74(3): 745–752 (2008). PubMed PDF: Isenbarger, Handelsman, & Ruvkun AEM 2008.pdf

Isenbarger, T.A. The Bacteriorhodopsin Lattice as a Model for Quantifying Interactions that Stabilize Membrane Protein Complexes, Ph.D. dissertation (2001). Isenbarger dissertation 2001.pdf.

Isenbarger, T.A., & Krebs, M.P. Thermodynamic Stability of the Bacteriorhodopsin Lattice As Measured by Lipid Dilution. Biochemistry 40(39): 11923–11931 (2001). PubMed PDF: Isenbarger & Krebs Biochemistry 2001.pdf

Ng, W.V., Kennedy, S.P., . . ., Isenbarger, T.A., . . ., Hood, L., & DasSarma, S. Genome Sequence of Halobacterium species NRC-1. PNAS 97(22): 11677–12388 (2000). PubMed PDF: Halobacterium genome PNAS 2000.pdf

Krebs, M.P., & Isenbarger, T.A. Structural Determinants of Purple Membrane Assembly. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1460(1): 15–26 (2000). PubMed PDF: Krebs & Isenbarger BBA review 2000.pdf

Isenbarger, T.A., & Krebs, M.P. Role of Helix-Helix Interactions in Assembly of the Bacteriorhodopsin Lattice. Biochemistry 38(28): 9023–9030 (1999). PubMed PDF: Isenbarger & Krebs Biochemistry 1999.pdf

Research Presentations

Applied and Environmental Microbiology Gordon Conference, July 2005, New London, CT

Accessing the Functional Diversity of Uncultured Soil Microorganisms by Metagenomics” PDF: AEM GRC 2005.pdf

Japanese New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) Symposium on “The Collection of Genetic Resources of As Yet Uncultured Microorganisms”, November 2004, Tokyo, Japan

Unculturable Bacteria in Microbial Communities from Soil and Insect Guts” PDF: Tom Isenbarger NEDO 2004.pdf

Department of Biomolecular Chemistry Seminar Series, April 2000, Madison, WI

Bacteriorhodopsin As a Model for Quantifying the Interactions that Stabilize Membrane Protein Complexes

Department of Biomolecular Chemistry Seminar Series, October 1998, Madison, WI

Transmembrane Helix-Helix Interactions and Their Role in Bacteriorhodopsin Lattice Assembly

FASEB Summer Research Conference: Molecular Biophysics of Cellular Membranes, July 2000, Saxton’s River, VT

Bacteriorhodopsin as a Model for Quantifying the Interactions that Stabilize Membrane Protein Complexes” (Poster presentation)

Third European Symposium of the Protein Society, September 1999, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Helix-Helix Interactions in Assembly of the Bacteriorhodopsin Lattice” (Poster presentation)

Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Symposium: New Approaches to Membrane Protein Structure and Function, August 1998, Madison, WI

Specific Packing Interactions Between Bacteriorhodopsin Monomers are Required for Purple Membrane Assembly” (Poster presentation)

Skills & Areas of Expertise

CRISPR technologies

Nucleic acid amplification

Nucleic acid and protein diagnostics


DNA sequencing

Molecular genetics and genotyping

Environmental microbiology

Medical imaging


Mechanical devices

Metagenomic library construction and screening

Natural products discovery with a focus on antibiotic discovery

Culture-independent identification and analysis of microbes



RNA interference

Spectroscopy (CD, UV/Vis)

X-ray diffraction


Membrane protein structure

Three-dimensional printing

Index-based insurance

Vector design and construction

Mastery of UNIX and X11 bioinformatics tools, Perl, molecular modeling

Experience developing applications in OOP environments (REALBasic, Visual Basic, R)