About Mario Otto, MD, PhD

With his extensive background in pediatric research and patient care, Mario Otto, MD, PhD, plays a key role in leading the system in its growth of both translational and clinical research.

A highly decorated researcher, Dr. Otto's patients inspire his commitment to continue seeking better treatments and outcomes for those living with cancer. "In oncology, we have very special relationships with our patients and their families. I cherish that. The research we do can truly make a difference for them."

Today, Dr. Otto focuses his research in two primary areas: the use of novel targeting agents to beat cancer while limiting toxicity to healthy tissues and immune system modifications through stem cell selection techniques. During his training in Germany, Dr. Otto was mentored by Dr. Rupert Handgretinger, an international leader in developing new techniques to improve the safety of stem cell transplants. In collaboration with Dr. Handgretinger, Dr. Otto helped develop a type of cell selection now broadly used throughout the world.

Dr. Otto earned his medical degree from the University of Tubingen in Tubingen, Germany, followed by a pediatric residency at Children's University Hospital in Tubingen. After moving to the United States, he completed another pediatric residency at Akron Children's Hospital in Akron, Ohio. Dr. Otto then completed fellowship training in pediatric hematology and oncology at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. He is board certified in both general pediatrics and pediatric hematology and oncology.

Together, Dr. Otto and his team of more than 130 faculty and staff experts are advancing new therapies and technologies that will change the lives of children with cancer for decades to come. His team oversees more than 165 existing research studies of treatments for acute leukemias, solid tumors, lymphomas, hemophilia and sickle cell disease. And through the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, Phoenix Children's is a member of multiple national research consortia focused on advancing treatment for pediatric cancer.

As an outdoor enthusiast, hiker, biker and sports fan, Dr. Otto enjoys exploring all that Phoenix and the entire region have to offer. He is also an avid reader, and as a theater and opera buff, he takes advantage of the area's cultural opportunities.

Medical School / Education

University of Tubingen, Germany


(Pediatrics) Children's University Hospital, Tubingen, Germany and (Pediatrics) Akron Children's Hospital, OH


(Pediatric Hematology and Oncology) St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN

General Pediatrics

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Academic Affiliations

Professor/Clinical Scholar, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix, AZ

Professional Affiliations

Children's Oncology Group

American Association for Cancer Research

American Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology

American Association of Immunologists

Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer


Phoenix Children's Hospital - Thomas Campus

1919 E. Thomas Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85016

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