James D. Kang, MD

Chair, Department of Orthopedic Surgery

James D. Kang, MD was named the new Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital on September 1, 2015. A spine surgery specialist, Dr. Kang was previously the Vice Chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Kang graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a Chemical Engineering degree in 1982 which was followed by a medical degree at the University of Oklahoma School of medicine in 1986. He then completed his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1992 followed by a Spine Surgery fellowship at Case Western Reserve University in 1993. He joined the faculty of the Orthopaedic Surgery department at the University of Pittsburgh, then later promoted to full Professor, and UPMC Endowed Chair in Orthopaedic Surgery in 2007. He held this position until 2015 when he was named Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery at BWH.


Dr. Kang is a surgeon/clinician/scientist. He is an internationally recognized leader in the field of intervertebral disc degeneration research. In the past 2 decades, he has done pioneering work in understanding the biology and molecular mechanisms of disc degeneration as well as devising novel therapeutic interventions using stem cells and gene therapy.


Dr. Kang is a devoted clinician and has an active practice of spinal surgery. His clinical interest is in treating patients who suffer with spinal stenosis. He performs all types of spinal surgery for patients with the diagnosis of lumbar and cervical stenosis, sciatica, herniated discs, spondylolisthesis, instability, spinal deformity, fractures, spinal infections, and cancers of the spine. Dr. Kang has also done extensive clinical research on spinal surgeries with an emphasis on their clinical (patient reported) outcomes (PROMs). For all his research efforts, he has won countless national and international awards which have recognized the quality and excellence of his work.