Project Description

Kia M. Washington, MD

Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
3550 Terrace Street, Scaife Hall, Suite 668
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Dr. Kia M. Washington is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery.  She performs hand and upper extremity surgery, breast reduction and augmentation, and reconstructive microsurgery following trauma. She has specialty training in hand and upper extremity surgery. She also serves as Section Chief of Plastic Surgery in the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

Dr. Washington completed her undergraduate studies at Stanford University in Stanford, California and earned her medical degree from the Duke University School of Medicine.  She completed her plastic and reconstructive surgery residency at the University of Pittsburgh.  During her training, she dedicated two years to full-time basic science research as a fellow in the Thomas E. Starzl Transplant Institute, funded by an extra-mural NIH grant and research fellowship from the Plastic Surgery Foundation.  Her research examined functional outcome after face and hand allotransplantation.  After completing residency, she pursued a hand and microsurgery fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Washington is the Associate Director of the Hand Transplantation program at the University of Pittsburgh.  Her goal for clinical hand transplant patients is to limit immunosuppression while maximizing functional outcome.   Dr. Washington is also a principal investigator in the Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation (VCA) Research Laboratory. Her research interests include improving nerve regeneration after injury and in the setting of VCA.  In addition, she has developed a special expertise in the study of cortical reorganization after VCA. Her goal is to utilize electrophysiological interventions to mitigate changes that occur in the brain after VCA, in order to obtain optimal functional recovery and quality of life after hand and face transplantation.

In October 2016, she received major funding from the Department of Defense through the Joint Warfighter Medical Research Program to continue her research exploring whole-eye transplantation as a viable treatment for vision loss, in particular in the traumatic setting. She has received many awards for her research, including the 2016 ARVO/Alcon Early Career Clinician-Scientist Research Award and the 2015 Military Health System Research Symposium’s Research award sponsored by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. Her work has been featured in Science magazine, STAT online magazine, Pittsburgh Business Times, Pittsburgh Tribune, and Pitt Med Magazine.