Dr. James Chang is currently the Johnson & Johnson Distinguished Professor and Chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Stanford University. Dr. Chang graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences with joint degrees in Biology and Economics. He spent a year as a lecturer in English at the Beijing University of Science and Technology in Beijing, People’s Republic of China. Following this, he graduated from Yale Medical School with Alpha Omega Alpha and Cum Laude honors. From 1991 to 1993, he was a Sarnoff Laboratory Research Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. He then completed a residency in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Chang was a Clinical Instructor in Orthopedic Surgery and the Hand & Microsurgery Fellow at U.C.L.A. Medical Center from 1999-2000. He is currently Professor of Plastic Surgery and Orthopedic Surgery at Stanford University Medical Center. He is also an Attending Surgeon at Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital and the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, where he serves as Director of the Plastic and Hand Surgery Laboratory.
His basic science research interests include modulation of Transforming Growth Factor-Beta in scarless flexor tendon wound healing and tissue engineered flexor tendon grafts for hand reconstruction. He has expertise in molecular biology and tissue engineering techniques and their applications to plastic and hand surgery research. Dr. Chang is the recipient of numerous grants including two recent multi-year Federal Merit Review Awards on “Tissue Engineered Flexor Tendon Grafts for Extremity Reconstruction” and “Optimization of Bioengineered Tendons Using Bioreactors and Stem Cells”. He has been federally-funded for his research since 1998.
Dr. Chang is the past Editor-in-Chief of the Yearbook of Hand Surgery and an Associate Editor for the journals, Journal of Hand Surgery, Annals of Plastic Surgery, Hand, and Microsurgery. He was the Royal College of Surgeons Foundation traveling fellow and was awarded the 2006 Sterling Bunnell Traveling Fellowship by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. He was Research Director for the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) and managed the grant portfolio and programs of this national organization. He was Treasurer for the ASSH from 2011-2014. Dr. Chang served as President of the ASSH from 2017-18. Dr. Chang was VIce-Chair of the Plastic Surgery Residency Review Committee of the ACGME and the Secretary/Treasurer of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He was elected to the American Surgical Association in 2010.
Dr. Chang's main surgical interests are in reconstructive surgery of the hand and extremities including microsurgical reconstruction. He also has interest in pediatric hand and microsurgery, post-oncologic head and neck reconstruction, and lower extremity reconstruction.