Dr. Ching-Fong Chang: Outstanding Alumnus 2014

Ching-Fong Chang graduated from WSU in 1982 with a M.S. [Dr. V.L. Es­tergreen, mentor] and in 1986 with a Ph.D. degree [Dr. J.J. Reeves as mentor]. While at WSU, Ching-Fong was well-liked by fac­ulty/staff/students and there was a universal sense of sorrow when we said goodbye to him as he left to begin his academic career.

Ching-Fong developed the Reproductive Endocrinology in Aquatic Animals Labo­ratory at the National Taiwan Ocean Uni­versity, Keelung, Taiwan. His work over the past 27 years has been related to fish repro­ductive physiology, sex differentiation and sex change in fish, reproductive endocri­nology and reproduction in coral, hormone regulation in fish, maturation mechanisms in fish, environmental physiology in fish, and reproductive physiology in prawns. His work has resulted in more than 125 peer­ reviewed papers.

Ching-Fong’s research group pioneered en­docrinology and reproduction research in coral–which showed that a specific GnRH, numerous sex steroids, and aromatase ac­tivity existed in the coral and ( over time) elucidated the potential roles of these en­docrine factors in coral reproduction. He further conducted experiments into the mechanism(s) of germ cell development in coral, which resulted in the identification of coral “vasa” gene and mechanisms to in­duce the activity of the gene. He found the origin of coral early germ cells and was able to demonstrate vitellogenesis during germ cell development. Collectively, this research is very important to the restoration of coral reefs during this period of global climate change.

Dr. Ching-Fong Chang’s research efforts have been recognized by the research com­munity. He is a three-time distinguished research award winner, twice distinguished research fellow award winner, and a Tai­wan-France Science and Technology award winner, which is bestowed by the National Science Council, and a recipient of the Aca­demic Award and the National Chair Pro­fessorship award given by the Ministry of Education, Taiwan.

Dr. Ching-Fong Chang has served as Chair for the Department of Aquaculture at the National Taiwan Ocean University (six years), Dean of Academic Affairs at the National Taiwan Ocean University (three years), Director of the Center of Marine Bioscience and Biotechnology (two years), Director General of the Department of Life Sciences of the National Science Council, Taiwan (two years), Vice President of the National Taiwan Ocean University (two years), and Deputy Minister of National Science Council, Taiwan (one year). Ching­Fong was recently elected as the President of the National Taiwan Ocean University (2012-present).

In part, for these reasons Dr. Ching-Fong Chang has been selected to receive the Department of Animal Sciences 2014 Out­standing Alumnus Award.