Shang had his PhD in engineering from University of Florida bridging medical imaging with the mechanics of human joints, and was a technical lead at developing the Stryker/Mako orthopedic hip replacement surgical robots in Ft Lauderdale, FL. Transitioning into neuroscience, at MIT and Princeton University he worked with Prof. Sebastian Seung on petabyte-sized electron-microscopic image datasets and high throughput neuron (and organelle) 3D reconstructions, and studied properties, connectomes and classification of retinal neurons and brain cells in general. Shang counted (computationally, of course) the number of cells in a full fruit fly brain and established that to be 133,000. Plus, there are close to a hundred types of neurons in your retina!
Shang is an adventurous skier and hiker but would pick water sports in a heartbeat over either, and is apparently regarded by some of his friends to take good photos.