Dr. Kia Washington is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery, and co-director of the Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation and Microsurgery (VCAM) Laboratory 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. She is board certified in Plastic Surgery (11/2013) and Surgery of the Hand (09/2014).
Dr. Washington completed her undergraduate studies at Stanford University 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 2 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. Her research interests also include improving nerve regeneration after injury and in the setting of Vascularized Composite Allotranpslants (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.
Several of her peer-reviewed publications include:
Ian A. Rosner, Anne Argenta, Kia M. Washington. Unusual Volar Pulp Location of Glomus Tumor. Plastic Reconstructive Surgery Global Open. 2017 January 30; 5(1): e1215.
Debra Bourne and Yang Li, Chiaki Komatsu, Maxine R. Miller, Edward H. Davidson, Lin He, Ian A. Rosner, Huamin Tang, Wendy Chen, Mario G. Solari, Joel S. Schuman, Kia M. Washington. Whole Eye Transplantation: A look into the past and vision for the future. Eye(Lond): 2017 Feb;31(2):179-184.
Edward H. Davidson MA (Cantab.) MBBS, Eric W. Wang MD, Jenny Y. Yu MD, Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda MD, Dawn J. Wang MD, Nikisha Richards MD, Maxine Miller MD, Joel S. Schuman MD, Kia M. Washington MD. Total Human Eye Allotranpslantation (THEA): Developing Surgical Protocols for Donor and Recipient Procedures. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 138(6): 1297-1308. December 2017. (Featured on the cover of the December edition).
Sivak WN, Davidson EH, Gorantla VS, Li Y, Miller MR, Schuman JS, Solari MG, Magill G, Washington KM. Ethical Considerations in Whole Eye Transplantation. J Clin Ethics. 2016 Spring; 27(1):64-7.
B. Xiao, R. Zanoun, G.E. Carvell, D.J. Simons and K.M. Washington. Response properties of whisker-associated primary afferent neurons following infraorbital nerve transection with microsurgical repair in adult rats. (JN-00970-2015R1) Journal of Neurophysiology. 2016 Jan 20 [Epub ahead of print].
Unadkat JV, Bourbeau D, Afrooz PN, Solari MG, Washington KM, Pulikkottil BJ, Weber DJ, Lee WP. Functional outcomes following multiple acute rejections in experimental vascularized composite allotransplantation. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2013 May;131(5):720e-30e.
Unadkat, JV, Schneeberger S, Horibe E, Goldbach C, Solari MG, Washington KM, Gorantla VS, Thomson AW, Lee WPA. Composite tissue vasculopathy and degeneration following multiple episodes of acute rejection in reconstructive transplantation. Am J Transplant 2010. 10(2): 251-261. | View Abstract »
Washington KM, Zanoun RR, Cadogan KA, Afrooz PN, Losee JE. Composite tissue allotransplantation for the reconstruction of congenital craniofacial defects. Transplant Proc. 2009 Mar;41(2):523-7. | View Abstract »
Unadkat JV, Schneeberger S, Goldbach C, Solari MG, Washington KM, Afrooz PN, Pulikkottil BJ, Zheng XX, Lee WP. Investigation of antibody-mediated rejection in composite tissue allotransplantation in a rat limb transplant model. Transplant Proc. 2009 Mar;41(2):542-5. | View Abstract »
Washington KM, Solari MG, Sacks JM, Horibe EK, Unadkat JV, Carvell GE, Simons DJ, Lee WP. A model for functional recovery and cortical reintegration after hemifacial composite tissue allotransplantation. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2009 Feb;123(2 Suppl):26S-33S. | View Abstract »
Solari MG, Washington KM, Sacks JM, Hautz T, Unadkat JV, Horibe EK, Venkataramanan R, Larregina AT, Thomson AW, Lee WPA. Daily topical tacrolimus therapy prevents skin rejection in a rodent hind limb allograft model. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2009 Feb;123(2 Suppl):17S-25S. | View Abstract »
Deleyiannis, FW, Sacks JM, McLean KM, Russavage JM. Patient self-report of disability of the upper extremity following osteocutaneous radial forearm free flap harvest. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2008 Nov;122(5):1479-84. | View Abstract »
McLean KM, Sacks JM, Kuo YR, Wollstein R, Rubin JP, Lee WPA. Anatomical landmarks to the superficial and deep palmar arches. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2008 Jan;121(1):181-5. | View Abstract »
Sacks JM, McLean K, Kuo YR, Wollstein R, Lee WPA. Anatomical relationships among the median nerve thenar branch, superficial palmar arch, and transverse carpal ligament. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2007 Sep;120(3):713-8. | View Abstract »
Wenham RM, Schildkraut JM, McLean K, Calingaert B, Bentley RC, Marks J, Berchuck A. Polymorphisms in BRCA1 and BRCA2 and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2003 Oct 1;9(12):4396-403. | View Abstract »
Wenham RM, Calingaert B, Ali S, McLean K, Whitaker R, Bentley R, Lancaster JM, Schildkraut J, Marks J, Berchuck A. Matrix metalloproteinase-1 gene promoter polymorphism and risk of ovarian cancer. J Soc Gynecol Investig. 2003 Sep;10(6):381-7. | View Abstract »
She has received 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. Over the past few years, Dr. Washington’s awards have been extensive, including:
2017 Plastic Surgery Research Council; JK Hardesty MD best poster award
2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Medicine Annual Meeting; Summa Cum Laude Award
2016 Robert H. Ivy Pennsylvania Plastic Surgery Society; First Place, Poster Presentation
2016 The Association for Vision and Research in Ophthalmology, Hot Topic Presentation
2016 American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery Best Resident Paper Award; Co-author
2016 American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery Best Resident Paper Award; Co-author
2016 Best Basic Science Presentation. Robert H. IVY Society Annual Meeting; Co-author
2016 Best Poster. Robert H. IVY Society Annual Meeting. Senior Author
2016 2016 ARVO/Alcon Early Career Clinician-Scientist Research Award
2015 Faculty Honoree; Honors Convocation; University of Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh, PA
2015 Best Presentation Award. Reconstruction/Burn/Microsurgery Session 1. American Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting 2015; senior author
2015 Best Research Presentation Award. Basic Science Research Session. American Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting 2015; senior author
2015 Military Health System Research Symposium's Research Accomplishment/Individual/Academia; sponsored by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs
2015 Alliance for Eye and Vision Research Emerging Vision Scientist
2015 Second Place Basic Science Paper, Pitt Plastic Surgery Resident Research Day, senior author
2015 Best overall paper presentation, Ohio Valley Society of Plastic Surgeons 58th annual meeting; senior author
2015 First place, Basic Science, Ohio Valley Society of Plastic Surgeons 58th annual meeting; senior author
2015 Magna Cum Laude Award, International Society for Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Medicine; co-author
2015 Outstanding Paper Award, American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery Annual Meeting 2015; senior author
Dr. Washington’s work has been featured in Science magazine, STAT online magazine, Pittsburgh Business Times, Pittsburgh Tribune, Pitt Med Magazine, and on Radio Health Journal. Details include:
Featured in news article in Science magazine about research on whole eye transplantation; March 2015
Featured in Pittsburgh Business Times; August 13, 2015
Featured in Pittsburgh Business Times; August 21, 2015
Featured in Pittsburgh Tribune; August 15, 2015
Feature in UPMC Sight and Sound magazine; Spring 2015 edition
Future feature in Eye and Ear Foundation Annual Report; February 2016
Feature article in Pitt Med Magazine; Winter 2016 edition
Featured in STAT magazine; November 23, 2016
Featured on Radio Health Journal; February 26, 2017