You are here

Shang-Tian Yang

  • Professor, Food Science & Technology
  • Professor, Chemical & Biomolecular Eng
  • 482 CBEC
    151 W. Woodruff Ave.
    Columbus, OH 43210
  • 614-292-6611



  • B.S., National Taiwan University, 1976
  • M.S.E., Purdue University, 1980
  • Ph.D., Purdue University, 1984


Key Honors and Distinctions

  • AIChE Division 15 Food, Pharmaceuticals & Bioengineering Plenary Lecture Award (2011)
  • Fellow, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (2007)
  • Du Pont Young Faculty Award (1989-91)
  • Outstanding Contribution Award, Chinese Academic and Professional Assocn. in Mid-America (1992)
  • Lumley Research Award, College of Engineering, Ohio State University (1995; 2001; 2007; 2013)
  • Research Accomplishment Award, College of Engineering, Ohio State University (1997)
  • Four patents.


RESEARCH AREAS - Yang Group for Bioprocessing and Tissue Engineering
  • Biotechnology, Bioengineering, and Bioprocessing. Our current research program covers two important areas in bioprocessing and bioengineering. The first one is animal cell culture and tissue engineering; the second one is bioprocessing for value-added products. 
  • Current research projects: novel bioprocesses for value-added products from biomass, metabolic engineering of anaerobic bacteria for enhanced production of chemicals and biofuels, novel bioreactors for fermentation and cell and tissue cultures, in vitro expansion and differentiation of embryonic stem cells, microfluidic biochips for biodiagnostics and high-throughput drug screening.

  • Graduate student research opportunities are currently available.


Animal Cell Culture and Tissue Engineering

We have developed a perfusion bioreactor with a fibrous matrix to support high-density, viable cell population for long-term production of recombinant proteins and tissue engineering of human cells. We have found that the 3-D fibrous matrix has profound effects on cell spatial organization, morphology, and cell-cell contacts and interactions, which in turn affect cell proliferation, differentiation, and functions. Cells grown in the fibrous matrix maintained better long-term stability, as compared to those grown in T-flasks. Ovary luteal cells cultured in the 3-D matrix maintained their cellular function to secrete progesterone, while cells cultured in the 2-D static flask lost most of their response in the same culturing period. 

We are working on tissue engineering of human cells for various biomedical applications. For example, an in vitro human placenta model system based on tissue engineering of human trophoblast cells is being developed for drug screening and toxicology studies. 

Bioprocessing for Value-Added Products
It is important for agricultural and food industries to increase their product values through the uses of modern biotechnology and bioprocesses. Our work has been concentrated on the development of several novel bioprocesses for economical production of high-value products from food processing wastes and agricultural commodities. Our recent and ongoing research projects include fermentation of whey permeate and plant biomass to produce various organic acids and microbial polysaccharides, steroid biotransformation, and immobilized enzyme for galactooligosaccharides (GOS) production. These bioprocesses are important to the agricultural industry and address important environmental issues. One example is the process we developed to convert whey permeate, a dairy waste, to environmentally friendly, non-corrosive road deicers. 

We take an integrated approach to solve an important bioprocess engineering problem: a patented fibrous-bed bioreactor is developed to increase productivity and cell tolerance to a high-concentration of inhibitory metabolites; membrane separation and solvent extraction are used to separate and concentrate fermentation products; and genetic and metabolic engineering of production cells are used to further improve product yields and process efficiency. We are also interested in applying our technology in the environmental area, such as biofiltration of VOC and biodegradation of hazardous chemicals in industrial waste streams and contaminated groundwater.


  • 2013

    Lumley Research Award. .

  • 2011

    AIChE Division 15 Food, Pharmaceuticals & Bioengineering Plenary Lecture Award. .

  • 2007

    Lumley Research Award. .

  • 2007

    Fellow. .

  • 2005-2006

    Visiting professorship. .

  • 2001

    Lumley Research Award. .

  • 1998

    Visiting professorship. .

  • 1997-1998

    Visiting professorship. .

  • 1997

    Research Accomplishment Award. .

  • 1996

    Visiting lectureship. .

  • 1995

    Lumley Research Award. .

  • 1992

    Outstanding Contribution Award. .

  • 1991

    DuPont Young Faculty Award. .

  • 1989-1991

    Du Pont Young Faculty Award. .