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Sang-Mo Kang, M.D.

Sang-Mo Kang, M.D.

  • Professor of Surgery
  • Division of Transplant Surgery
  • Surgical Director of Liver Transplantation
  • UCSF-Benioff Children’s Hospital

Contact Information

Academic Office
(415) 476-0789
[email protected]
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  • Cornell University, B.A., Chemistry, with Distinction, 1982-86
  • Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, M.D., Magna Cum Laude 1986-92
  • University of California, San Francisco, Intern and Resident, General Surgery Program, 1992-95
  • University of California, San Francisco, Resident, General Surgery Program, 1997-99
  • University of California, San Francisco, Fellow, Transplant Surgery, 1999-01
  • University of California, San Francisco, Postdoctoral Fellow , Immunology and Transplantation, 1995-97
  • American Board of Surgery, 2000
  • UCSF Intestinal Rehabilitation and Transplantation
  • UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • The Liver Center at UCSF
  • Diabetes Center at UCSF
  • Bile Duct Injuries
  • Bile Duct Strictures
  • Choledochal Cyst Disease
  • End-Stage Kidney Disease
  • Fulminant Hepatic Failure
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma (Liver Cancer)
  • Intestinal Failure
  • Intestinal Transplantation
  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Laparoscopic Donor Nephrectomy
  • Liver Cysts
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
  • Pancreas Transplantation
  • Pediatric Kidney Transplantation
  • Pediatric Liver Transplantation
  • Portal Hypertension
  • Short Bowel Syndrome
  • Dendritic Cell Immune Therapy
  • Novel Strategies for the Induction of Transplant-specific Tolerance
  • T-cell Mediated Transplant Rejection as well as Tolerance
  • Transplant Immunology

Sang-Mo Kang, M.D. takes care of both adult and pediatric patients and performs kidney, liver, pancreas and intestinal transplants as well as surgery for numerous hepatobiliary and gastrointestinal diseases. He  is Surgical Director of Liver Transplantation at UCSF-Benioff Children's Hospital.

Dr. Kang received his B.S. in chemistry from Cornell University and his M.D. from Harvard University Medical School.  He completed a general surgery residency, and immunology and clinical transplantation fellowships at University of California, San Francisco.  

Dr. Kang's current research  focus is in the development of novel strategies for the induction of transplant-specific tolerance. Dr. Kang has published numerous articles in medical and scientific journals and been invited to present at national and international seminars and conferences.  

Dr. Kang is a member of numerous medical societies including American Society of Transplant Surgeons, American College of Surgeons, American Association of Immunologists, National Kidney Foundation, Association for Academic Surgery, and Society of University Surgeons.


The Kang Lab is developing novel strategies for the induction of transplant-specific tolerance. The research focuses on achieving what is known as "allo-specific transplant tolerance",  a specialized method of preventing the rejection of a transplanted organ without suppressing the entire immune system. 

Currently, transplant recipients must receive immunosuppressive drugs to suppress their own white blood cells (T cells) that attack foreign cells and cause organ rejections.  Unfortunately, these non-specific drugs affect the entire immune system and thus carry significant risks for infection and certain malignancies. The goal is to eliminate the need for global immunosuppression in transplant recipients.  Ideal immunotherapy would be one that targets only the donor-specific immune cells that cause rejection, without affecting any of the other immune cells, thus leaving the immune system intact and able to function at full capacity.

To this end, the lab is conducting several experiments to gain insight into the mechanisms of rejection.  These projects include the use of specialized immune cells in targeting specific lymphoid organs, as well as investigations into the contributions of CD+4 T cells and CD8 T cells to the process of transplant rejection.  The laboratory's work is helping to define important parameters for potential treatments in humans.

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  • Donor-Alloantigen-Reactive Regulatory T Cell Therapy in Liver Transplantation
    Sponsor ID:
    Funding Period:
    Jun 2014
    May 2019
    Co-Principal Investigator
  • "Donor-Specific Regulatory T Cell Therapy in Liver Transplantation"
    Sponsor ID:
    Funding Period:
    Apr 2012
    Mar 2014
    Co-Principal Investigator
  • Donor-Specific Regulatory T Cell Therapy in Liver Transplantation
    Sponsor ID:
    Funding Period:
    Apr 2012
    Mar 2014
    Co-Principal Investigator
  • Tolerance Induction Using Modified Dendritic Cells
    Sponsor ID:
    Funding Period:
    Apr 2007
    Mar 2010
    Principal Investigator
Data provided by UCSF Profiles, powered by CTSI
Data provided by UCSF Profiles, powered by CTSI
  1. Thiessen C, Ling I, Horvai A, Kang SM. Fever, skin nodules, and hyperintense intramuscular leg lesions in a liver transplant patient. Am J Transplant. 2022 Feb; 22(2):658-661. View in PubMed
  2. Meier RPH, Kelly Y, Yamaguchi S, Braun HJ, Lunow-Luke T, Adelmann D, Niemann C, Maluf DG, Dietch ZC, Stock PG, Kang SM, Feng S, Posselt AM, Gardner JM, Syed SM, Hirose R, Freise CE, Ascher NL, Roberts JP, Roll GR. Advantages and Limitations of Clinical Scores for Donation After Circulatory Death Liver Transplantation. Front Surg. 2021; 8:808733. View in PubMed
  3. Lee AY, Lehrman ED, Perito ER, Kerlan RK, Kohi MP, Kolli KP, Taylor AG, Ostroff JW, Kang SM, Roberts JP, Rhee S, Rosenthal P, Fidelman N. Non-operative management of biliary complications after Liver Transplantation in pediatric patients: A 30-year experience. Pediatr Transplant. 2021 Sep; 25(6):e14028. View in PubMed
  4. Braun HJ, Torres AM, Louie F, Weinberg SD, Kang SM, Ascher NL, Roberts JP. Expanding living donor liver transplantation: Report of first US living donor liver transplant chain. Am J Transplant. 2021 04; 21(4):1633-1636. View in PubMed
  5. Syed SM, Gardner J, Roll G, Webber A, Mehta N, Shoji J, Adelmann D, Niemann C, Braun HJ, Mello A, Yao F, Posselt A, Kang SM, Hirose R, Roberts J, Feng S, Ascher N, Stock P, Freise C. COVID-19 and Abdominal Transplant: A Stepwise Approach to Practice During Pandemic Conditions. Transplantation. 2020 11; 104(11):2215-2220. View in PubMed
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