Our People

Professor Beng Chong

St. George Clin Sch- Operating
T: 
02 9113 3851
E: 
BengHock.Chong@health.nsw.gov.au

Tabs

Profile

High-impact research history spanning basic science research through to clinical research Prof Chong is a clinician scientist, a haematologist and an educator with a national and international reputation, and is known particularly for his expertise in the field of thrombosis and haemostasis. He has an established basic science research profile with expertise in molecular and cell biology and immunopathology. He also have an established clinical research profile and has a Clinical Research Unit (CTU) which currently employs 9 research nurses and data managers and conducts Phase I-IV trials, with expertise well recognised by industry (locally and internationally) and research institutes alike (the CTU is upheld as an exemplary centre and is regularly used in pilot initiatives driven by the NSW Cancer Institute).

This infrastructure is invaluable in seeing the research translated from bench to bedside. The research that he has driven to date has changed paradigms e.g. his work has changed concepts regarding the regulation of platelet production by thrombopoietin (TPO) by showing the existence of a feedback mechanism of TPO regulation in the bone marrow rather than only by the liver and kidneys at a constant rate regardless of the blood platelet levels.

His work has resulted in major discoveries e.g. an immune mechanism of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) and identification of GPIX as the major autoantigen in drug-induced thrombocytopenia. Similarly the advances Prof Chong has made, have a substantial impact on clinician options and patient outcomes e.g. his work has led to an effective treatment for HIT where none existed at that time and has resulted in significant numbers of lives being saved.

In addition, his work has led to better treatment options for venous thromboembolism (VTE) and immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). Driving research with clinical applications by working in clinical practice Prof Chong is able to see areas of need to clinicians and drive research to meet those needs. His research has seen major advances in patient care in immune ITP, HIT as well as VTE prevention and treatment.

His research career started in 1979 when he and his colleagues identified the first case of HIT in Australia; a few cases were reported in USA but HIT was virtually unknown in Europe. At that time there were no diagnostic criteria or tests and no effective treatment for this limb- and life-threatening condition of unknown aetiology. In two landmark papers he and his colleagues established the immune aetiology of HIT describing a platelet antibody in HIT that caused strong platelet and coagulation activation, and thus explained the devastating thrombosis seen in HIT (Chong et al, Br J Haematol 1981; Chong et al, Lancet 1982).

Since then, Prof Chong has led the field internationally, introducing diagnostic criteria, and developing and refining laboratory tests to improve diagnosis of this clinically complex condition, and introducing effective treatments particularly pioneering the use of danaparoid. His work over the past 2 -3 decades has greatly improved the clinical outcomes of patients with HIT worldwide, saving many lives. He has also made substantial contributions to other areas of thrombosis and haemostasis including ITP, regulation of platelet production and VTE.

Translating research into clinical practice not content with just presenting the evidence, Prof Chong ensures that evidence is translated into practice. As a member/chair of the Scientific and Standardisation Committee (SSC) of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH), the world peak body for thrombotic and bleeding disorders (2003-2009), he has contributed to the standardization of laboratory tests and drafting best practice guidelines that have impacted on the clinical practice and health policies internationally. He has worked with world experts to draft international best practice guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of ITP (Provan et al, Blood 2010).

In addition as a member of the Australian and New Zealand VTE working party, he has been involved in drafting best practice guidelines for VTE prevention and treatment with regular updates since 2004 (Fletcher et al, 2007 and 2010). Career Progression After graduating with MBBS from University of Malaya in 1972 and PhD from University of Sydney in 1987, he worked as a staff specialist haematologist at several hospitals in Australia including the Royal Melbourne, the Prince of Wales and St George Hospitals.

He is the Director of Haematology, St George Hospital, Sydney and a Conjoint Professor with the St George and Sutherland Clinical School. He has held several academic appointments previously at UNSW including Conjoint Associate Professor (1991-7) and Conjoint Professor of Haematology (1997-2001).

His h-index is 44. He has published >184 papers and book chapters (130 peer-reviewed, >40 since 2005) with over 80% first or senior authorship. His papers have received over 6419 citations, with one paper cited 659 times, 1 >400 times, 2 >200 times, 7 >150 times, 6 > 100 times and 24 > 50 times. His papers are published in general (e.g. Lancet, N Engl J Med, JBC and Mol Cell Biol) and in specialised, top international journals (e.g. Blood, JTH and Chest).

As a reflection of his international standing, he has received 93 personal invitations (40 since 2005) to present his research findings at major international meetings (including 9 plenary and 18 state-of-the-art (SOA) talks) such as the 18th Congress of ISTH Paris, 2001, 19th Congress of ISTH Birmingham 2003, 20th Congress of ISTH, Sydney 2005, 10th Congress of International Society of Haematology, Nagoya 2004 and 47th American Society of Haematology, Atlanta 2005. In addition he has given more than 55 invited lectures at national scientific meetings, universities and hospitals.

A career promoting networks and collaborations Prof Chong collaborates with a broad range of experts and specialists in his endeavours to improve care of patients with thrombotic and bleeding disorders through research. He has successfully collaborated with scientists, and clinicians (nurses, doctors, etc) from many specialties, and specialists in research methodology (e.g. qualitative and quantitative clinical research design), nationally (e.g. Profs A Gallus, Adelaide; J Fletcher, J Braithwaite & N Zwar, Sydney) and internationally (e.g. Profs G Turpie, Canada; F Anderson, USA; AJ Kakkar, UK).

A career that has attracted substantive peer-reviewed grant funding Prof Chong has had continuing national and international peer-reviewed and industry grant support (over $39.6M or $18.5M since 2005) from NHMRC, ARC, NHF, Singapore NMRC ($1.77M, 2001-5) and others. He has received uninterrupted funding from NHMRC (except 1 yr 1989) since his first Project Grant in 1986-88 including successive project grants and 4 consecutive rounds of NHMRC Program Grants as CI. Industry engagement

He has participated in industry sponsored clinical trials for over 15 years which continue to generate funds of $200-500K per annum. He has held various roles from site PI, to contributing in an advisory role, and being part of the steering committee on multicentre, multi-national research projects. Prof Chong has assisted the pharmaceutical industry as an external scientific consultant during the pre-clinical and clinical phase of their drug development programs (e.g. Sanofi-Aventis, Organon, CSL, etc) and has served as the chair/member on the Scientific Advisory Board of Amgen, GSK, Bayer, CSL and Boehringer-Ingelheim.

Teaching and mentoring Prof Chong has been involved in teaching medical and science students at undergraduate and postgraduate level since 1986. In the past 10 years, he has supervised 10 PhD, 1 MD, 1 MSc and 7 BSc Honours students. The students whom he has trained and mentored are now in leadership, research and clinical positions in Australia and overseas. He has attracted post-doc/research fellows from countries such as China, India, Egypt, Malaysia and Singapore to be trained in his laboratory.

Research
Field of Research (FOR) Tag: 
Cardiovascular Medicine and Haematology
Socio-economic Objective (SEO) tags: 
Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions)
Media & Expertise
Areas of expertise: 

Platelet physiology & biology & platelet disorders, bleeding & thrombosis, blood coagulation, role of platelets & blood coagulation in causation of heart attacks, stem cells.