Dennis Chang

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PhD, MSc
Director, NICM Health Research Institute

Executive Committee Member, NICM Health Research Institute
Professor of Pharmacology Research, NICM Health Research Institute

Dennis Chang is the Director of NICM Health Research Institute and Professor of Pharmacology. His research interests include clinical and pharmacological studies of herbal medicine and other complementary medicine interventions at the Institute.

He has led a number of significant clinical trials to evaluate the effect of herbal, yoga and tai chi for the treatment of dementia, mild cognitive impairment, coronary heart disease, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

Professor Chang has also led multiple laboratory-based pharmacological studies to evaluate pharmacokinetic/bioavailability profiles and mechanisms of action underlying the neuro and cardiac-protective effects of these medicines using a range of in vitro and in vivo models.

His research has been published in a broad range of high-quality peer-reviewed journals such as Cochrane Systematic Review, Journal of Translational Medicine, Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and British Journal of Pharmacology. Professor Chang's research has attracted significant research funding support from various external funding agencies, governments and industry totalling over $7 million.

Prior to his appointment as the Institute's Director in July 2021, Professor Chang served as acting Director from May 2020 and previously was the Institute's Associate Director International, Professor Chang. In this role he played a leading role in the development of the Institute's international partnership program, which led to substantial collaborations and partnerships with prestigious universities, research institutions and the pharmaceutical/herbal medicine industry.

Before joining NICM Health Research Institute, Professor Chang held a number of academic leadership roles within Western Sydney University; including Research Director of School of Science and Health, and Associate Head of School of Biomedical and Health Science. He initially trained in medicine and received postgraduate training in pharmacology.

Research focus

  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology and pathophysiology
  • Pharmacokinetics/bioavailability
  • Clinical trials
  • Dementia and cognitive impairment
  • Diabetes and metabolic disease

Awards and recognitions

  • Visiting Professor, Guangzhou Medical University
  • Coordinator of the South Pacific Chapter of the Consortium for Globalisation of Chinese Medicine
  • 1993-1995 Australian Postgraduate Award

Projects and grants

Professor Chang's research has been supported by numerous external funding agencies including federal and state governments, NHMRC, local and international industry, and professional associations.

See a list of past and current projects.(opens in a new window)


  • 1998 PhD in Pharmacology, The University of Sydney, Australia
  • 1993 Master of Science in Pharmacology, The University of Sydney, Australia
  • 1986 Bachelor of Medicine, Sun Yat-Sen (Zhongshan) University, Guangzhou, China


For a full listing of publications please see: