Professor of Surgery & Vice Chair, Clinical Operations

Dr. Heung Bae Kim is a Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and the Weitzman Family Chair in Surgical Innovation at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH).  He currently serves as the Vice Chair for Clinical Operations in the Department of Surgery and the Director of the Pediatric Transplant Center at BCH.  Born in Korea but raised in Philadelphia, Dr. Kim attended Yale University as an undergraduate and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine before starting his general surgical training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.  After completing his Pediatric Surgical Fellowship in 2002 at BCH and his Liver Transplant Fellowship at the Lahey Clinic in 2004, he assumed the surgical directorship of both the liver and kidney transplant programs and started the only intestine transplant program in New England, completing the first multivisceral transplant in 2004.  Under his leadership, the Pediatric Transplant Center has grown into one of the busiest and most comprehensive pediatric transplant centers in the country.


Dr. Kim has a wide range of clinical and research interests.  His early work as a fellow at the Transplantation Biology Research Center with Dr. David Sachs focused on transplant tolerance induction in miniature swine using in utero stem cell transplantation, a research interest that he developed while a research fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Alan Flake at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  In 2002, he developed a novel intestinal lengthening procedure known as the Serial Transverse Enteroplasty (STEP) to treat patients with short bowel syndrome and the STEP is now the preferred surgical procedure worldwide for this condition.  He has also pioneered innovative approaches to transplantation of small children with vascular abnormalities and was the first in the world to successfully transplant a partial esophagus as part of a multivisceral transplant.  Recently, he was involved in organizing one of the most comprehensive multidisciplinary centers in the world dedicated to the treatment of children with midaortic syndrome and renovascular hypertension.  This has resulted in development of two novel methods to treat these children without the need for prosthetic grafts.  The first known as Tissue Expander Stimulated Lengthening of Arteries (TESLA) is a procedure in which the normal aorta is lengthened using a tissue expander allowing for aortic replacement without a prosthetic graft.  The second known as Mesenteric Artery Growth Improves Circulation (MAGIC) takes advantage of the natural ability of arteries to grow when placed into the correct environment and uses one of these arteries as the actual bypass graft, again avoiding the need for prosthetic graft material in small growing children.  He has recently started a surgical innovation fellowship at BCH aimed at training and developing the next generation of surgical innovators.

Dr. Kim has won numerous academic awards including the Penn Pearls Teaching Award for medical student teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, the Keith Reemstma Surgical Resident of the Year Award at Penn (voted by the attending staff among all surgical residents), the Rosenkrantz Resident Research Award for the best presentation at the American Academy of Pediatrics Surgical Section, and the Teacher of the Year Award at BCH three times as the best teacher as voted by the surgical residents.  In 2013, he was the first recipient of the Sheikh Zayed Prize for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at the Pediatric Surgical Innovation Symposium in Washington DC.  He has served in several national leadership roles at the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) including the Chair of the Pediatric Transplantation Committee, Region 1 Councillor and Region 1 Representative to the Board of Directors.  He is currently Vice Chair of the Membership and Professional Standards Committee at UNOS and is also currently serving as Chair of the Board of Trustees of New England Donor Services. He has lectured worldwide on his clinical and research interests and was invited to Japan to perform the first STEP procedure in that country.  He has coauthored more than 100 original papers or chapters and has contributed significantly to both the pediatric surgical and the transplantation literature.