Victor Chang Biography


Birthday: November 21, 1936 (Scorpio)

Born In: Shanghai

Dr Victor Chang was a renowned cardiac surgeon who hailed from Australia and was instrumental in taking heart transplantation to new heights. He was born in Australia to Australian-Chinese parents. At an early age he lost his mother, who suffered from cancer. This tragic incident motivated him to take up a medical profession. He stayed with some relatives in Sydney, were he continued his studies. This outstanding student worked diligently towards reaching his goal in medical science and eventually, completed his ‘Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery’ degree where he scored a First-Class Honours. His impeccable score availed him with the opportunity to get an internship under the guidance of heart surgeon Mark Shanahan. He was employed at ‘St. Vincent Hospital’ where he worked with accomplished heart surgeon Dr Harry Windsor, who had conducted the first heart transplant operation of Australia. These doctors had a profound effect on Chang and helped him grow in the field of medical science. Using his vast expanse of knowledge coupled with extensive research he invented the artificial heart, which helped in curbing the scarcity produced by unavailability of organ donors. He is regarded as a pioneer of modern heart transplantation. Read on to know more about this prominent personality
Quick Facts

Australian Celebrities Born In November

Also Known As: Dr. Victor Peter Chang

Died At Age: 54

Humanitarian Surgeons

Died on: July 4, 1991

place of death: Mosman

City: Shanghai, China

More Facts

education: University of Sydney

Childhood & Early Life
He was born on 21st November, 1936, in Shanghai, China, and was raised in Hong Kong. His parents were Chinese Australians and his father was Aubrey Chang. He had two siblings named Frances and Anthony.
He received early education at a school in Kowloon Tong and also attended ‘St. Paul’s College’ situated in Hong Kong for a brief period.
Following the death of his mother, his father sent him along with his sister to Sydney, Australia, in 1951, where they lived with relatives.
He enrolled at ‘Belmore Boys' High School’, Belmore and later joined ‘Christian Brothers' High School’, Lewisham.
He joined the ‘University of Sydney’ to pursue further education in Medical Science and earned an MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) degree, in 1962.
Continue Reading Below
Recommended Lists:
He did an internship under the guidance of cardiologist Mark Shanahan at the ‘St. Vincent Hospital’. Eventually, he travelled to London where he received training from doctor Aubrey York Mason.
In 1966, this brilliant doctor earned a ‘Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons’, and continued his training at the ‘Royal Brompton Hospital’ in cardiothoracic surgery.
While in the United States, Chang earned his Residency while working in the ‘Mayo Clinic’.
He relocated to Sydney in 1972, and again joined ‘St. Vincent Hospital’, where he practised as consultant cardiothoracic surgeon. The following year, he earned a Fellowship at the ‘Royal Australasian College of Surgeons’.
In 1975, he became a ‘Fellow of the American College of Surgeons’.
During his tenure at ‘St. Vincent Hospital’ he was associated with the renowned cardiac surgeons Dr. Harry Windsor and Dr. Mark Shanahan.
In 1980, he advocated the use of anti-rejection drugs and made endeavours to build heart transplant provisions at ‘St. Vincent’.
In 1984, he headed a team of physicians in the heart transplantation of a teenager named Fiona Coote. This patient was the youngest in Australian medical history to undergo a heart transplantation surgery.
The same year, his endeavours helped resulted in the establishment of the ‘National Heart Transplant Unit’ at ‘St Vincent's Hospital’. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the ‘Australian Chinese Foundation’ which supported South-East Asian medical purposes and helped to raise the standard of medical care in the countries.
Continue Reading Below
During the period 1984-90, this accomplished doctor and his team performed many successful heart transplantation operations.
Major Works
In an attempt to deal with the scarcity of donors of heart for transplant, this exceptional surgeon teamed up with many scientists and engineers who worked diligently to create an artificial heart. The team comprised of members around the world and they also collaborated to develop artificial heart valves which came to be known as ‘St. Vincent's Heart Valves’.
Awards & Achievements
In 1986, he was honoured with the ‘Companion of the Order of Australia’ for his contribution in building international relations among China and Australia, and also his services in the field of medical science.
This generous physician was also awarded with M.D. Honoris Causa for ‘scholarly achievement and humanitarian endeavour’ by the ‘University of New South Wales’.
Personal Life & Legacy
During his stay in London in late 1960s, he got acquainted to Ann, and the two married. They were blessed with two sons and a daughter named Matthew, Marcus and Vanessa.
On 4th July 1991, this virtuous doctor met with a tragic death when he was shot after a dispute with two men called Chew Seng Liew and Choon Tee Lim who attacked him in order to extract money.
In 1994, Australian Prime Minister inaugurated the ‘Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute’. The ‘Christian Brothers' High School’ also named a laboratory in memory of this remarkable surgeon as ‘Dr Victor Chang Science Labs’.
In the ‘People’s Choice Awards’ held in 1999, the then Prime Minister of Australia John Howard named Chang as the ‘Australian of the Century’.
In 2008, the ‘Victor Chang Lowy Packer Building’ was constructed at the ‘St. Vincent Hospital’.
An article of the ‘Time’ magazine entitled ‘A Golden Anniversary’ listed names who had moulded the past ‘50 Years in the South Pacific’, and Chang was named the person for the decade 1979-89.

See the events in life of Victor Chang in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Victor Chang Biography
- Editors,

People Also Viewed

Edward Dunlop Biography
Edward Dunlop
Mary Edwards Walker Biography
Mary Edwards Walker
Joseph E. Murray Biography
Joseph E. Murray
Alexis Carrel Biography
Alexis Carrel
René Gerónimo Favaloro Biography
René Gerónimo Favaloro
Galen Biography
Vladimir Demikhov Biography
Vladimir Demikhov