Project Description

Xavier Candela, MD, MBA, MEd


Dr. Candela was born and raised in Erie, PA and graduated from the Pennsylvania State University, Schreyer Honors College with B.S degrees in Science and Psychology and Honors in Biomedical Engineering. During his undergraduate studies, he was a member of the Artificial Heart and Fluid Dynamics Lab where he investigated conformational changes of von Willebrand Factor in the setting of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs). He then matriculated at Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, PA where he earned his MD, MBA, and MEd degrees. During his medical education, Dr. Candela traveled to Ghana, Africa and completed clinical research and quality improvement projects focusing on breast cancer survival rates and surgical burden of disease. Outside of academia, he enjoys jogging/biking around Pittsburgh, exploring new restaurants and breweries, watching Penn State and Cleveland Browns football, and spending time with his two French Bulldogs.

Why Pitt?

Pitt Plastic Surgery’s tradition of leadership, culture of excellence, and most importantly collegiality were the driving forces behind my desire to come to Pitt. After spending a month as a visiting sub-intern, I was inspired by the world class faculty and residents, breadth and depth of plastic surgical cases, and institutional support of the program. I am truly honored to be a member of the Pitt family and to be surrounded by such an exceptional group of people who will aid in my growth both personally and professionally.


  • Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Medical Honors Society, 2021
  • 2020 Health Equity Mini Grant Recipient, 2020
  • John W. Coombs Memorial Student Award 1st Place: Patients as Teachers Film Project, 2018
  • The Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society, 2016
  • Penn State Undergraduate Research Exhibition: 1st Place Recipient in Engineering, 2014


Dr. Candela has published and presented scientific manuscripts and abstracts on various topics in general and plastic surgery, including hand surgery, wound healing, limb salvage, global surgery, and breast cancer.

Areas of Interest

  • Reconstructive Surgery
  • Microsurgery
  • Hand Surgery
  • Global surgery
  • Quality Improvement