Kwon, Brian

Portrait photo of Brian Kwon


Kwon, Brian


Basic Info

Academic Rank:

Professor, Department of Orthopaedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Canada Research Chair in Spinal Cord Injury, Spine Surgeon, Vancouver Spine Program, Vancouver General Hospital


ICORD, VCH Research Institute



Short Bio

Dr. Kwon is a surgeon-scientist with advanced training in spine surgery and also a PhD in neuroscience. He is a Professor in the UBC Department of Orthopaedics. As an attending orthopaedic spine surgeon at Vancouver General Hospital his practice is focused on the management of adult spine trauma, spinal cord injuries, and non-traumatic conditions such as spine infection, deformity, and degeneration. As a neuroscientist and Principal Investigator at ICORD, Dr. Kwon runs an active basic/translational research laboratory. Dr. Kwon is currently also serving as the Associate Director, Clinical Research, for ICORD and is the Director of Research for the Vancouver Spine Research Program.

Dr. Kwon’s primary research interest is in spinal cord injury. During his residency, he met many young patients on the spinal cord unit whose lives had been devastated by SCI; this motivated him to pursue a career in spine surgery and a PhD in neuroscience. Now, as a surgeon-scientist, his research interests in SCI span the translational continuum from basic bench research all the way to clinical trials. His research program is best characterized by “bedside back to bench” and “bench to bedside” bi-directional translation.
Currently, Dr. Kwon is leading a North American clinical trial in acute SCI to improve guidelines for the management of patients in the early stages of their injury and also to establish biomarkers of injury by providing a more complete picture of the pathophysiology of acute human SCI. His interest in the human pathophysiology of SCI has led him to establish the International Spinal Cord Injury Biobank (ISCIB). In the laboratory, he has developed new models to facilitate the preclinical evaluation of novel therapeutic strategies and to also better understand clinical observations from acute SCI patients.

Dr. Kwon loves working with ICORD because of the multidisciplinary interface between science and medicine. He enjoys the ease with which his research can translate from “bench-to-bedside” and “bedside back to bench” with ICORD situated right on the campus of Vancouver General Hospital, the provincial referral centre for all acute spinal cord injuries in British Columbia.


Academic Backgrounds

  • MD (Queen’s University),
  • FRCSC [Orthopaedic Surgery] (University of British Columbia),
  • PhD [Neuroscience] (University of British Columbia),
  • Spine Fellowship (Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University)

Awards & Recognition

Selected Publications


Current Openings & Opportunities

Current Projects In My Lab include


  • Biomarkers;
  • Clinical trials;
  • Neuroprotection;
  • Spine surgery;
  • Translational research