Medical Alumni Association

William S. McEllroy Award Winner

Our 2016 William S. McEllroy Award Winner is Resident Alumnus, Dr. James Kang.

Dr. James Kang is the new Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) who specializes in spinal surgery.He was previously the Vice-Chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC Endowed Professor in Spinal Surgery.He was also the Director of the Ferguson Laboratory for spinal research which is an internationally recognized research laboratory dedicated to spinal research.As the new Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery at BWH, Dr. Kang will continue the long tradition of clinical excellence in Orthopaedics which was begun by Drs. Clement Sledge and Thomas Thornhill.He will also oversee the expansion of musculoskeletal basic research with the vision of becoming a world class Orthopaedic Department doing innovative translational research.

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 as an Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery 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.In addition to basic science research, Dr. Kang published numerous clinical research studies on spinal surgeries and their outcomes.For all his research efforts, he has won countless national and international awardswhich have recognized the quality and excellence of his work.

Dr. Kang is a devoted clinician and has an active practice of spinal surgery.His clinical interest is in treating (both surgical and non-surgical) patients who suffer with spinal stenosis.He performs all types of spinal surgery for patients who fail conservative management with the diagnosis of lumbar and cervical stenosis, sciatica, herniated discs, spondylolisthesis, instability, spinal deformity, fractures, spinal infections, and cancers of the spine. He has a strong interest in minimally invasive as well asperforming revision spine surgery.