楊院士在植物生物科學領域之研究成果斐然，其中最重要的貢獻在於闡明植物賀爾蒙乙烯的生合成途徑及作用。乙烯在植物中擔任重要功能，諸如種子發芽、花期長短、水果成熟和對抗病毒之防禦機制等。楊院士是第一位發現此關鍵的先驅者，日後各項與乙烯有關之生合成研究皆運用到此概念，因此，這個發現對基礎科學與應用科學上之影響甚鉅。經由楊教授的發現，過去的25年間約有幾萬篇乙烯相關領域之研究論文在世界各大期刊中發表。目前在世界許多廣泛使用的乙烯生物學教科書中就將乙烯生合成循環命名為 " Yang Cycle"。 楊院士畢生研究植物超過40年，共發表過220篇以上的學術論文。
Dr. Shang-Fa Yang
The Shang-Fa Yang Memorial Foundation was established to honor the distinguished career of Professor Shang-Fa Yang, a world-renown scientist and a native of Taiwan. He received his basic education in the Tainan First High School and National Taiwan University. His scientific career spanned both United States and Taiwan. He was a professor emeritus in University of California, Davis and he also served as Vice President of Academia Sinica and Founding Director, National Science and Technology Program in Agricultural Biotechnology in Taiwan.
As a highly respected plant biochemist, Prof. Yang made a series of major discoveries in elucidating the biosynthetic pathway for a plant hormone, ethylene, the first gaseous hormone identified in biosphere. Ethylene regulates many important functions in plants, such as seed germination, flower longevity, fruit ripening, and defense against pathogens. Prof. Yang discovered the primary precursor, key intermediates and novel enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of ethylene.
Following the lead by Prof. Yang, tens of thousands research papers related to ethylene biology have been published during the last 25 years. The ethylene biochemical synthesis pathway has now been named the “Yang Cycle” in popular textbooks used throughout the world.
He was also author of more than 220 scientific publications and was renowned for his encyclopedia knowledge in agriculture. Prof. Yang joined UC-Davis faculty in 1966, contributed to build school's plants laboratory into one of the most active global research centers. He focused on how fruits, flowers, and vegetables produce ethylene, and developed successfully the technologies for prolonging the quality of plants after harvest. Professor Yang was the winner of the world prestigious Wolf prize in Agriculture in 1991. He was elected in 1990 to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors for scientists in the United States. In 1992 he became academician of Academia Sinica.