Kacey G. Marra, PhD
Professor of Surgery (Primary) and Bioengineering (Secondary)

Dr. Marra is the Vice Chair of Research for the Department of Plastic Surgery, a member of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and a member of the Cellular and Molecular Pathology Graduate Training Program.

Office Location:
1655E BST
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Contact Information:
Office Telephone: 412-383-8924
Lab Telephone: 412-383-8939
Email: kgm5@pitt.edu, marrak@upmc.edu


  • PhD - University of Pittsburgh, 1996

Research Interests

Kacey Marra is a Professor, School of Medicine, Department of Plastic Surgery (Primary), and School of Engineering, Department of Bioengineering (Secondary) at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Marra is also the Vice Chair of Research for the Department of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Marra's academic training was in the areas of polymer chemistry, biomaterials and tissue engineering. She is also a core faculty member in the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, where she has served as a member of the Executive Committee since 2004. She has a publication record of 122 peer-reviewed publications, 28 reviews, 15 book chapters, and 6 patents, and over 630 abstracts in the areas of nerve regeneration, adipose stem cells, bioreactors, tissue engineering, and wound healing. Her funding includes NIH, NSF, and DoD grants in the area of regenerative medicine (including the Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine, (AFIRM)). She is the Enabling Technology Core Focus Area Leader in AFIRM II. She was Co-Chair of the 2015 Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) World Congress, held in Boston.

Awards and Honors

  • Emerging Female Scientist, Honorable Mention - 2010, sponsored by the Carnegie Science Center
  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS): Educational Award -2012
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering Innovator of the Year Award-2016
  • Co-Chair, University of Pittsburgh Year of Diversity-2016-17

Selected Publications

View Dr. Marra's publications on PubMed

  1. Schilling, B.K.; Schusterman, M.A.; Kim, D.Y.; Repko, A.J.; Klett, K.C.; Christ, G.J.; Marra, K.G.* "Adipose-Derived Stem Cells Delay Muscle Atrophy after Peripheral Nerve Injury in the Rodent Model," Muscle & Nerve, 2019; 59(5):603-10. Epub 2019/01/27. PMID: 30681163 DOI: 10.1002/mus.26432.
  2. Passipieri, J.A.; Dienes, J.; Frank, J.; Glazier, J.; Portell, A.; Venkatesh, K.; Bliley, J.; Grybowsky, D.; Schilling, B.; Marra, K.G.; Christ, G.J.*. "Adipose Stem Cells Enhance Nerve Regeneration and Muscle Function In A Peroneal Nerve Ablation Model," Tissue Engineering Part A, 2019. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 30760135 DOI: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2018.0244
  3. Kokai, L.E.; Schilling, B.K.; Chnari, E.; Huang, Y.C.; Imming, E.A.; Karunamurthy, A.; Khouri, R.K.; D'Amico, R.A.; Coleman, S.R.; Marra, K.G.; Rubin, J.P.* "Injectable Allograft Adipose Matrix Supports Adipogenic Tissue Remodeling in the Nude Mouse and Human," Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2019, Feb;143(2):299e-309e. PMID: 30688888 PMCID: PMC6358185 DOI: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000005269.
  4. Silva, M.; Sabino-Neto, M.; Kokai, L.E.; Donnenberg, V.S.; Fine, J.L.; Marra, K.G.; Donnenberg, A.D.; Rubin, J.P.* "Oncologic Safety of Fat graft for Autologous Breast Reconstruction in an Animal Model of Residual Breast Cancer," Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2019, 143(1):103-112. DOI: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000005085
  5. Brown, J.E.; Tozzi, L.; Schilling, B.; Kelmendi-Doko, A.; Truong, A.B.; Rodriguez, M.J.; Gil, E.S.; Sucsy, R.; Valentin, J.E.; Philips, B.J.; Marra, K.G.; Rubin, J.P.; Kaplan, D.L.* "Biodegradable Silk Catheters for the Delivery of Therapeutics Across Anatomical Repair Sites," Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B, Applied Biomaterials, 2019;107(3):501-10. Epub 2018/04/27. PMID: 29697188 PMCID: PMC6203684. DOI: 10.1002/jbm.b.34140.
  6. Allbright, K.O.; Bliley, J.M.; Havis, E.; Kim, D.Y.; Dibernardo, G.A.; Grybowski, D.; Waldner, M.; James, I.B.; Sivak, W.N.; Rubin, J.P.; Marra, K.G.* "Delivery of Adipose-Derived Stem Cells in Poloxamer Hydrogel Improves Peripheral Nerve Regeneration," Muscle & Nerve, 2018, 58(2):251-260. doi: 10.1002/mus.26094. PMID:29406624
  7. Kelmendi-Doko, A.; Rubin, J.P.; Klett, K.; Mahoney, C.; Wang, S.; Marra, K.G.* "Controlled Dexamethasone Delivery via Double-Walled Microspheres to Enhance Long-term Adipose Tissue Retention," Journal of Tissue Engineering, 2017, 8:1-10. PMCID: PMC5638157
  8. Mahoney, C.M.; Snowden, M.J.; Kelmendi-Doko, A.; Rubin, J.P.; Marra, K.G.* "Adipose Derived Delivery Vehicle for Encapsulated Adipogenic Factors," Acta Biomaterialia, 2017, 58:26-33. PMID:28532902