Rainer Storb, MD

faculty member

Rainer Storb, MD

Professor, Head of Transplantation Biology Program
Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutch

Milton B. Rubin Family Endowed Chair
Fred Hutch

Fax: 206.667.6124
Mail Stop: D1-100

Dr. Rainer Storb is one of the pioneers who established allogeneic, or donor, blood stem cell transplantation as a cure for diseases like leukemia and aplastic anemia. Over his career, his research has established more effective, less toxic transplant approaches. Through fundamental and translational research, he continues to explain and eliminate major barriers to successful transplant. These include rejection and failure of the transplanted cells and graft-vs.-host disease, or GVHD, and the discovery that grafted donor immune cells play a pivotal role in eliminating the patient’s malignant cells, a form of allogeneic immunotherapy. In GVHD, transplanted immune cells attack the patient’s healthy tissues. He is also working to reduce toxicities and maximize the cancer-killing powers of transplanted immune cells. One of Dr. Storb’s major scientific contributions is the non-myeloablative transplant. Non-myeloablative transplant, sometimes called "mini-transplant," involves minimal pre-transplant radiation. It has extended the lifesaving benefits of transplantation to older or more-infirm patients who are not eligible for traditional protocols.

Other Appointments & Affiliations

Professor of Medicine, Oncology
University of Washington


MD, University of Freiburg, 1960

State Medical Examination, University of Freiburg, 1960

Physikum, University of Munich, 1957

Research Interests

Transplantation biology

Basic and translational research into the biology of allogeneic blood and marrow hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT)

Developing radically different approaches for HCT that have minimal toxicity, and thus are safe enough to administer in the ambulatory care setting

Extending treatment with HCT from related and unrelated donors to include elderly and medically infirm patients with advanced hematologic malignancies and eradicating underlying disease with immunologic graft-vs-tumor effects

Applying minimal-intensity conditioning regimens to treat patients with serious non-malignant blood disorders, such as aplastic anemia, hemoglobinopathies and immune deficiency diseases, by allogeneic HCT

Develop novel methods for preventing acute GVHD and treating chronic GVHD in animal models based on mechanistic studies

Investigating graft-host tolerance by establishing transient mixed hematopoietic chimerism as a prelude for acceptance of solid organ transplants

"We're still working on reducing the complications of cancer treatment. ... I can envision a day when we hope to get rid of radiation and heavy chemotherapy to treat patients."

— Dr. Rainer Storb

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