Dr. Christopher Chen
Dr Christopher Chen is the Founder and Chairman of Advanced Centre for Reproductive Medicine (ACRM), the aptly named Obstetrics & Gynaecology (Ob/Gyn) and fertility clinic and successor to Christopher Chen Centre for Reproductive Medicine, set up in 1993 at Gleneagles Hospital. Dr Chen’s journey came full circle, taking the road less travelled, from Singapore to Australia and back to his nativeland where he fulfilled his passion in clinical medicine, academic and research work that culminated in the setup of this clinic. It symbolises his vision and belief that it is “a woman’s birthright to live life to its fullest including being a mother” and empowers her to seek reclamation through available medical procedures and technology.
Dr Chen graduated from medical school in Singapore and was officially an accredited specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology after 3 ½ years at Edinburgh and Glasgow. At 28, he was a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London, a Fellow of the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and a Fellow of American College of Surgeons. Most recently in 2009, he was awarded a Doctor of Medicine (MD) from the University of Queensland, Australia.
Dr Chen’s career as a clinician, academician and researcher was no small feat either. He returned to Singapore as a lecturer at the National University of Singapore, and was appointed Associate Professor 2 years later. Here, he made a significant discovery in his research on immunological infertility, which helped couples understand unexplained infertility and seek solutions via advancing infertility treatment including IVF.
His reputation preceded him and Dr Chen was recruited by Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, to head their infertility research team and was credited for his pioneering contributions in IVF. In 1983, he made history when he delivered the world’s first IVF-conceived triplets, a true sensation in the medical world especially for infertile couples. Even more amazing was his monumental achievement in Australia in 1986. Dr Chen was the first to successfully freeze a human egg and achieved the first birth from a frozen egg. Advances made in the egg freezing technology have led to egg banks being established worldwide, a huge breakthrough for women seeking fertility preservation. Egg freezing is now an established service in IVF clinics, available for women who require infertility-causing chemotherapy for cancer treatment and in some countries, for women who choose to freeze eggs for future family planning.
Dr Chen’s illustrious track record include appointments as the former Reproductive Medicine Head at the Kandang Kerbau Maternity Hospital (Singapore), Professor at the University of Newcastle (Australia), Professor at the University of Queensland (Australia), Professor at Ricardo Palma University (Peru), and an Honorary Professor at Sri Ramachandra University (India). He was also a sought-after key opinion leader and speaker on infertility-related medical affairs in regional and international conferences and an author of several scientific papers published in highly esteemed medical journals such as The Lancet.
He received abundant recognition from his peers in the medical and scientific community. He was previously the World President of International College of Surgeons and presently the Editor in Chief of the International Surgery journal ‘International Surgery’ in Chicago, USA, as well as Chair of Surgery and Max Thorex Professor of the International College of Surgeons, Chicago.
Dr Chen’s work ethos and dedication to putting patients first, particularly in helping couples realize their aspirations of being parents, was practiced daily at ACRM. The ACRM represents the evolution of Dr Chen’s expertise and philosophies, practiced through a team of handpicked senior fertility specialists proficient in reproductive-related surgery and treatments, including IVF. The clinic has seen a diverse range of clientele, from Indonesia and India and as far ranging as Russia and Europe.
Dr Chen’s life’s work speaks for itself, and his dedication towards advancing the state of reproductive medicine continues to be an inspiration to fertility specialists worldwide. This vision and desire in advancing reproductive medicine saw him set up ‘The Professor Christopher Chen Chair in Reproductive Medicine’ in 2012 at the University of Queensland, Australia. In recognition of his decades of contribution to fertility medicine in Asia, Dr Chen was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award by Global Health and Travel for 2018, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Like Mahatma Gandhi who inspired others by his actions, Dr Chen’s achievements were inspired by his mantra “It’s easy to stand in the crowd but it takes courage to stand alone”.