Thomas Chang, 48, authority on male reproduction, professor

March 17, 1996|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Thomas S. K. Chang, an associate professor and assistant director of research at Johns Hopkins Brady Urological Institute who was an international authority on male reproduction, died Wednesday from complications of a stroke at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was 48.

"He was an expert on sperm maturation and how they fertilize the egg. He also studied the role of nitric oxide, which sends signals to the nerves during the process," said Donald Coffey, the institute's director of research.

Dr. Coffey described Dr. Chang's work as "highly unique."

He was a consultant to the Reproductive Biology Research Committee of the College of American Pathologists, which was charged with establishing nationwide guidelines and an accreditation program for clinical andrology, the study of male sexual dysfunction, and for in vitro fertilization programs.

Dr. Fray F. Marshall, a professor of urology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who also is associated with the Brady Institute, remembered Dr. Chang as being patient and helpful. "That was why those around him had great respect for him. He had human qualities that allowed this exchange to occur. He created a wonderful family that will continue his work."

"He was also very popular with the medical students because he took a great interest in each and every one of them," said Dr. Coffey.

While Dr. Chang was known as a "scholar personified," according to fellow staff members, he also demonstrated a lighter side.

"Oh, boy, he was always pulling off practical jokes," Dr. Coffey said.

Dr. Chang, a resident of Towson, was born and raised in Honolulu. He earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1970 and a doctorate in biochemistry in 1976 at the University of Hawaii. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health from 1976 to 1978.

He joined the department of population dynamics there in 1978, and the urology faculty of the Hopkins medical school in 1981.

Dr. Chang received a Ford Foundation predoctoral fellowship. His honors included the University of Hawaii Biomedical Symposium Award and the Male Reproduction Urology Research Award of the American Fertility Society.

Dr. Chang had been a communicant of Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Towson, and since 1990 at St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church in Baltimore, where he was a member of the parish council.

He devoted a great deal of his time to Loyola High School, from which his older son, Eric, now a freshman at Princeton University, graduated and where his younger son, Alex, is a sophomore.

He was active in the Loyola High School Parent Network, the post-prom night committee, which organizes and supervises alcohol- and drug-free parties for seniors. He also joined parents in supervising swimming, basketball and volleyball at monthly drop-in nights for teens.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Ignatius Church, at Calvert and Madison streets in Baltimore.

In addition to his sons, Dr. Chang is survived by his wife of 24 years, the former Rosemary Ling; a brother, Dr. Robert S. Y. Chang of Palos Verdes, Calif.; two sisters, Claudette Kozuki and Catherine Nelson, and his parents, Dai Hoy and Annie Yunsim Hu Chang, all of Honolulu.

Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, Dr. Thomas S. K. Chang Fund, 740 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21202.

Pub Date: 3/17/96

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