Rainer F. Storb, MD

Rainer F. Storb, MD

Rainer F. Storb, MD

  • Physician, Fred Hutch
  • Professor, Division of Medical Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Professor, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutch
  • Milton B. Rubin Family Endowed Chair, Fred Hutch

Medical Oncology

“We can never appreciate you enough for your courage and contributions to clinical research.”

— Dr. Storb

Why do you conduct research?

As a boy growing up in Germany, I built my own toys — once, a friend and I even constructed an electric railway system in my basement — so I’ve always been a tinkerer. Clinical research allows me to experiment, solving medical puzzles that can improve patients’ lives. Back in the 1960s, transplant research seemed like the ultimate challenge; I just knew I had to be a part of it. The idea of eliminating unhealthy stem cells and replacing them with new ones from a donor filled me with a sense of wonder. Research is always exciting when it translates into better care.

What do you think patients appreciate about the way you care for them?

Most people want to know three things about their doctors: One, that they are knowledgeable about medicine. Two, that they are on the leading edge of research. And three, that they have compassion and truly care. I think my patients appreciate that I have these qualities. I’ve also been told that my enthusiasm is contagious; I love what I do, and I suppose that shines through. I think my doggedness is equally important. Bone marrow transplantation is not yet the perfect cure, but I’m constantly working to improve this therapy; patients and the loved ones who support them are my inspiration.

Provider Background

Specialty: Medical Oncology

Area of clinical practice

Adult Blood and Marrow Transplantation

Bone marrow diseases

A founding member of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, I specialize in stem cell transplantation. My career began back in the 1960s, working with Dr. E. Donnall Thomas, who won the Nobel Prize for pioneering bone marrow transplantation (the first stem cell therapy). I built on that advance by developing the mini-transplant, which reduces the levels of chemotherapy and radiation required, making stem cell transplantation accessible to more people. Today, it is the standard of care for many blood disorders. Throughout my career, I have authored more than 1,000 articles on stem cell transplantation techniques and outcomes.

Now, as head of the Transplantation Biology Program at Fred Hutch, my research is focused on eliminating barriers to successful allogeneic stem cell transplantation, such as graft-versus-host-disease and graft failure. In 2015, the National Institutes of Health awarded me $22.7 million to continue refining this procedure by reducing harmful side effects.

Diseases Treated

Aplastic Anemia

Reduced intensity conditioning 






Education, Experience and Certifications

Undergraduate Degree
Physikum, University of Munich

Medical Degree
University of Freiburg


All news
Fred Hutch pioneer Dr. Beverly Torok-Storb dies Beloved mentor and bone marrow biologist created pathways for both blood cancer cures and marginalized students May 23, 2023
Dr. Fred Appelbaum receives Lifetime Achievement award Medical pioneer and longtime Fred Hutch leader honored by American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy February 19, 2023
Fred Hutch hosts inaugural Dr. E. Donnall Thomas Symposium Event draws leading researchers in transplantation, gene and cell therapy October 7, 2022

Clinical Trials

We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by Fred Hutch doctors. Many of these trials at Fred Hutch have led to FDA-approved treatments and have improved standards of care globally. Together, you and your doctor can decide if a study is right for you.

Find a Clinical Trial Led by Dr. Maloney


Many of our Fred Hutch doctors conduct ongoing research to improve standards of patient care. Their work is evaluated by other doctors and selected for publication to the United States National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library in the world. See scientific papers this Fred Hutch provider has written.

View Dr. Storb's Publications

Your Care Team

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For the Media

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