Prof. Shang Hongcai began his career in Chinese Medicine research and evaluation as a postgraduate student at Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In this period of time, he established the increase-decrease experimental design method of baseline geometric proportion to explore the best ratio between Danshen roots and Sanchi. He received Ph.D degree (Chinese Internal Medicine, 2005) and won the National Excellent Doctoral Dissertation Award nomination. During his postdoctoral fellowship (2006-2008) in West China School of Medicine, Sichuan University, he was deeply devoted to the individualized clinical evaluation method for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and introduced goal attainment scaling (GAS) and N-of-1 trial into TCM research.
He believes that searching for the clinical evidence and underlying mechanism of effectiveness and safety is a most urgent priority for TCM research, and it is also a key question to be solved for the further development and understanding of TCM. Concentrating on this problem, he with his team named TALENT (To Achieve higher Level of Evidence that Needs Translation) improved the methodology and quality control strategies on population-based clinical research as well as research on individuals, while seeking the fittest way to evaluate TCM. As one of the initiators and drafters, he participated in establishing a number of key international reporting standards such as CONSORT-CHM Formula and RIGHT.
He supports the use of modern technology to improve TCM research and clinical practice. He developed an analysis method investigating support vector data description (SVDD)-drug symptom network correlations to explore the multi-level integrative characteristics of the mechanism behind the efficacy and toxicity of Chinese herbal medicine. In 2016, he was elected to be the first chairman of Clinical Research Information Association(CRIA), a platform set for communication and cooperation between multidisciplinary experts, clinicians and entrepreneurs who are devoted to clinical research.
He is a pioneer in Industry-University-Research cooperation. For the past few years, he was the central figure of an academic team that initiated and completed the safety evaluation of major herbal medicine injections and established the methods and key techniques of Chinese patent drug post-market evaluation for his peers to follow.
Prof. Shang is active in academia. He has by far hosted 12 national, provincial and ministerial-level projects and been awarded the second prize of the national Science and Technology Progress Award for three times, the first prize for six times at provincial level. 46 of his published research papers were indexed by SCI. Impact factor (IF) totals 135. Sum of times cited without self-citations was 512. He is the candidate of the nation’s Young and Middle-aged Leading Scientists, Engineers and Innovators Project, and has received funds of the Ten Thousand Talents Project of the Ministry of Science and Technology, New Century Excellent Talent Project of the Ministry of Education and the Tianjin Municipal’s "131 Talents Project". Furthermore, Prof. Shang is a central figure of the Ministry of Education’s Innovative Research Team “TCM for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases”, and the reviewer of the NSFC major projects for the Natural Science Foundation of China.