Xiangyang Shi obtained his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Institute of Photographic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1998. He worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Tsinghua University (1998-2000) in Beijing and Max-Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (2000-2001) in Potsdam, Germany. He then moved to California State University, Los Angeles (2001-2002) as a visiting scholar. From 2002-2008, he worked as a Research Fellow, Research Associate II, Research Investigator, and Research Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He then became a professor by special appointment both in Donghua University and in Shanghai Institutions of High Learning (Eastern Scholar) in 2008. In 2010, Prof. Shi was also appointed as an Invited Chair in Nanotechnology at the University of Madeira, Funchal, Portugal.
His current research interests include dendrimer chemistry and related nanomedicinal applications, in particular cancer diagnosis and therapy. He is also developing nanofiber-based technology with an emphasis on the synthesis and fabrication of bioscaffolding materials in tissue engineering and pharmaceutical applications and the immobilization of reactive nanoparticles within nanofibrous mats for environmental applications.