Marlys Witte

Professor, Surgery

Member of the Graduate Faculty

Professor, Neurosurgery

Professor, Pediatrics

As Professor of Surgery and Director of Student Research, University of Arizona College of Medicine, and Secretary-General of the 42-nation International Society of Lymphology, I am engaged in extensive activities in clinical and basic lymphology – the study of lymphatics, lymph, lymphocytes, and lymph nodes in health and disease. My translational interests and contributions have spanned blood/lymphatic vascular endothelial cell biology and pathobiology in vitro and in vivo, hepatosplanchnic lymphatic/microcirculatory physiology, small animal models, in vivo lymphatic imaging, thoracic duct lymph drainage, lymphogenous cancer spread, and genomics/proteomics of lymphedema-angiodysplasia syndromes in man and experimental models, including defects, deficiency, and overexpression of human and murine lymphangio- gene­sis genes and their syndromic/phenotypic manifestations. Collaborative research has touched upon HIV encephalopathy, blood-brain barrier, CNS fluid dynamics, and ocular development/ disorders. I continue to work on a variety of infectious diseases and immune disorders (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease, AIDS, Kaposi sarcoma, tuberculosis, filariasis, congenital/hereditary lymphatic system syndromes, opportunistic infections/neoplasms) and direct an internationally recognized Lymphedema-Angiodysplasia clinic. Author of more than 400 peer-reviewed publications, recipient of numerous international honors and the UA College of Medicine's Gold-Headed Cane, Founders Day, and Virginia Furrow Education and Innovation Awards, I have received continuous funding from NIH (as well as other government, AMA, and non-profit agency grants) since I was a medical resident. I have also served as Program Director of UA’s only NIH General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) and am a member of the UA Arizona Comprehensive Cancer Center, Sarver Heart Center, and Viper Institute and have mentored hundreds of students supported by a continuous sequence of NIH multi-institute training grants I have acquired since 1982. These NIH research pipeline/ training grants, an earlier federally funded nationwide “Women in Medical Academia” project organized in the mid-1970's, and my service reflect a long-standing commitment to leadership training, equity, diversity, and disadvantaged populations including but not limited to underrepresented ethnic minorities, women, and the disabled.  My educational activities have an overlying theme of “medical ignorance” – “what we know we don’t know, don’t know we don’t know, and think we know but don’t,” which aims to nurture “curiosity” (an “addiction” to ignorance/ unanswered questions-unquestioned answers).

Offering Research Opportunities?


Prerequisite Courses


Majors Considered


Types of Opportunities

Description of Opportunity

No description given

Start Date

August 2023

Primary Department

Affiliated Departments

Research Location