On October 18, 2018, Dr. Shan Wang was named the fifth holder of Leland T. Edwards Professorship in the School of Engineering, Stanford University, in recognition of his broad and significant scholarly contributions.
Dean Jennifer Widom commended that Shan's work is remarkable both for its impact on society and for the way it captures the imagination of students and other faculty across a variety of areas. His current research explores the use of nanosensors to detect cancer and other diseases, and he is also a leader in the field of information storage technologies. Years ago, a group of his graduate students came up with a lab motto — "Make magnetics work for humankind, not vice versa!" — which Shan said was in part the students' tongue-in-cheek rebellion against their workload, and in part a pledge to focus on practical applications of their research. There's no question that Shan's work is having an extraordinary impact across a range of fields.
The Leland T. Edwards Professorship was established in 1986 by William Edwards, a Stanford alumnus who played a key role in the development of Silicon Valley's venture capital industry. William wished to honor his father, Leland, by establishing a fund in support of Stanford faculty whose academic focus will lead to significant advances in technology. Previous holders of the professorship include Jens Nørskov, James Swartz, and Calvin Quate.
Dr. Wang has been recognized by numerous honors and awards since joining the Stanford Faculty in 1993. He was an inaugural Fred Terman Fellow at Stanford University (1994), and he was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE, 2009) and a Fellow of American Physical Society (APS, 2012) for his seminal contributions to magnetic materials and nanosensors. His team won the Grand Challenge Exploration Award from Gates Foundation (2010), the XCHALLENGE Distinguished Award (2014), and the Bold Epic Innovator Award from the XPRIZE Foundation (2017).
Dr. Wang’s research is truly interdisciplinary and spans from magnetic nanotechnologies, information storage, to spintronics, including magnetic biochips and biosensors, in vitro diagnostics, cell sorting, magnetic nanoparticles, magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM), and power management. Wang is the author or coauthor of over 270 technical publications, holds 59 issued or pending patents. The technologies developed in Wang Lab have spurred the founding of three startup companies MagArray, Nvigen, and Flux Biosciences. Dr. Wang is also the coauthor of two textbooks Magnetic Information Storage Technology and (upcoming) Biochips and Medical Imaging. He currently serves as a Professor and Associate Chair of Materials Science & Engineering and jointly Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, and by courtesy, a Professor of Radiology at Stanford School of Medicine. He directs the Center for Magnetic Nanotechnology, and is a co-Principal Investigator of the Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence for Translational Diagnostics (CCNE-TD) at Stanford University. He received the B.S. degree in physics from the University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China, in 1986, the M.S. degree in physics from Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA, in 1988, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, in 1993.