Aaron Andrew Ross Tobian, M.D., Ph.D.

Headshot of Aaron Andrew Ross Tobian
  • Director, Transfusion Medicine Division
  • Professor of Pathology



Research Interests

Transfusion transmitted infections; and HIV


The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)

1800 Orleans St.
Sheikh Zayed Tower
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-955-9790

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

4940 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21224 map
Phone: 410-955-9790


Aaron Tobian, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Pathology, Medicine, Oncology and Epidemiology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health.  He is also Deputy Director for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Pathology and Director of Transfusion Medicine Division at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  Dr. Tobian divides his time between research and clinical service. 

Dr. Tobian has been highly involved with the transfusion medicine community.  He currently serves on the AABB Board of Directors.  He is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Clinical Apheresis, Section Editor for UpToDate, and sits on the Editorial Board for the journal TRANSFUSION.  Dr. Tobian is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the website Transfusion News; a site which provides weekly updates on the latest studies within the transfusion community as well as interactive transfusion medicine questions three times a week.  

Dr. Tobian also has an established global research program that studies HIV and other adverse events associated with transfusion.  Over the past 15 years, Dr. Tobian has lived or worked in five developing countries.  He has authored more than 250 peer-reviewed articles in journals including The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Lancet, Blood and TRANSFUSION.  His work has also been featured on the NBC Today Show, BBC World Service, National Public Radio, USA Today, and other media outlets. 

Dr. Tobian received his MD and PhD at Case Western Reserve University and conducted a clinical pathology residency and transfusion medicine fellowship at Johns Hopkins.

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  • Director, Transfusion Medicine Division
  • Deputy Director for Clinical Affairs, Department of Pathology
  • Professor of Pathology
  • Professor of Medicine
  • Professor of Oncology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (2006)


  • Pathology; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (2009)


  • Transfusion Medicine; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (2010)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Pathology (Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine) (2013)
  • American Board of Pathology (Clinical Pathology) (2009)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Tobian’s research team is focused on reducing transfusion transmitted infections through two main areas.

1. Evaluation of pathogen reduction technology to prevent transfusion transmitted infections.

Working closely with the Makerere University-Johns Hopkins University (MU-JHU) collaboration, Dr. Tobian is PI of the randomized trial to evaluate Mirasol whole-blood pathogen reduction technology system to reduce malaria and emerging transfusion-transmitted infections in Uganda.

2. Evaluation of the epidemiologic risk factors of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections 

In collaboration with Uganda’s Rakai Health Sciences Program (RHSP), Dr. Tobian’s team has established a research program to evaluate these factors.  Working closely with the RHSP, the investigators are evaluating the efficacy of male circumcision in preventing sexually transmitted infections in men and their female partners. In addition, using foreskin mucosal tissue, they are assessing the genital cellular immune milieu associated with sexually transmitted infections to develop novel HIV prevention therapies.

Clinical Trials

Dr. Tobian is the Principal Investigator for the randomized trial to evaluate Mirasol whole-blood pathogen reduction technology system to reduce malaria and emerging transfusion-transmitted infections in Uganda.

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Tobian AAR, Serwadda D, Quinn TC, Kigozi G, Gravitt PE, Laeyendecker O, Charvat B, Ssempijja V, Riesdel M, Oliver AE, Nowak RG, Moulton LH, Chen MZ, Reynolds SJ, Wawer MJ, Gray RH. Male circumcision for the prevention of HSV-2 and HPV infections and syphilis. N Engl J Med 2009; 360:1298-309

Grabowski MK, Gray RH, Makumbi F, Kagaayi J, Redd AD, Kigozi G, Reynolds SJ, Nalugoda F, Lutalo T, Wawer MJ, Serwadda D, Quinn TC, Tobian AAR. Use of injectable hormonal contraception and women's risk for herpes simplex virus type 2 acquisition: a prospective study of couples in Rakai, Uganda. Lancet Global Health. 2015; 3:e478-86

Kaufman RM, Djulbegovic B, Gernsheimer T, Kleinman S, Tinmouth AT, Capocelli KE, Cipolle MD, Cohn CS, Fung MK, Grossman BJ, Mintz PD, OMalley BA, Sesok-Pizzini DA, Shander A, Stack GE, Webert KE, Weinstein R, Welch BG, Whitman GJ, Wong EC, and Tobian AAR. Platelet transfusion: a clinical practice guideline from the AABB. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2015; 162:205-213

Carson JL, Guyatt G, Heddle NM, Grossman BJ, Cohn CS, Fung MK, Gernsheimer T, Holcomb JB, Kaplan LJ, Katz LM, Peterson N, Ramsey G, Rao SV, Roback JD, Shander A, Tobian AAR. Clinical practice guidelines from AABB: red blood cell transfusion thresholds and storage. JAMA. 2016; 316:2025-2035

Goel R, Chappidi M, Patel EU, Ness PM, Cushing MM, Frank S, Tobian AAR. Trends in red blood cell, plasma and platelet transfusions in the United States, 1993-2014. JAMA.  2018; 319: 825-827

Contact for Research Inquiries

Department of Pathology
Canegie 437
600 N. Wolfe St.
Baltimore, MD 21287 map

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation


Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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