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Soyoung Kang

Faculty Photo

Assistant Teaching Professor
Mechanical Engineering

Executive Director of Engineering Innovation in Health


Soyoung Kang was born in Seattle, WA and raised in Portland, OR. Her academic and professional experiences include a number of healthcare institutions and companies abroad, including Institute for Molecular Bioscience in Queensland, Australia; IMTEK in Freiburg, Germany; IBA in Heilbad Heiligenstadt, Germany; and Philips Research in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. She completed her doctoral degree and was appointed as a lecturer in 2018 in the mechanical engineering department at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on multiplexed molecular imaging of disease biomarkers to enable the early detection of cancer and to guide the surgical resection of tumors.

As a lecturer, Soyoung coordinates the Engineering Innovation in Health (EIH) program, which solicits challenges directly from clinicians across a broad range of medical disciplines. This year-long interdisciplinary program partners undergraduate and graduate engineering students with health care professionals, as well as experts in law, business, and regulation to look at the unmet health needs holistically and develop technical solutions to pressing health challenges. Soyoung works closely with faculty from the College of Engineering, the Foster School of Business, and the School of Nursing to foster an ecosystem of training and support for EIH students. She recently partnered with Team Science faculty at the Institute of Translational Health Sciences to provide tailored team science training to student-clinician teams with the express goals of improving team dynamics, communication, and program participant satisfaction. 


  • Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, 2018
  • M.S. in Medical Systems Engineering, University of Magdeburg, 2014
  • B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California, 2010

Previous appointments

  • Research Engineer, Molecular Biophotonics Laboratory, University of Washington, 2018

Select publications

  1. Y. Wang, Q. Yang, S. Kang, M.A. Wall, and J.T.C. Liu, "High-speed Raman-encoded molecular imaging of freshly excised tissue surfaces with topically applied SERRS nanoparticles," J. Biomed. Opt. 23, 046005 (2018)
  2. S. Kang, Y. Wang, X. Xu, E. Navarro, K.M. Tichauer, and J.T.C. Liu, "Microscopic investigation of topically applied nanoparticles for molecular imaging of fresh tissue surfaces," J. Biophotonics (2018)
  3. Y. Wang, N.P. Reder, S. Kang, A.K. Glaser, and J.T.C. Liu, "Multiplexed Optical Imaging of Tumor-Directed Nanoparticles: A Review of Imaging Systems and Approaches," Nanotheranostics 1, 369 (2017)
  4. Y. Wang*, N.P. Reder*, S. Kang, A.K. Glaser, Q. Yang, M.A. Wall, S.H. Javid, S.M. Dintzis, and J.T.C. Liu, "Raman-encoded molecular imaging (REMI) with topically applied SERS nanoparticles for intraoperative guidance of lumpectomy," Cancer Research 77, 4506 (2017)
  5. S. Kang, Y. Wang, N.P. Reder, and J.T.C. Liu, "Multiplexed molecular imaging of biomarker-targeted SERS nanoparticles on fresh tissue specimens with channel-compressed spectrometry" PLoS ONE 11, e016473 (2016)
  6. Y. Wang, J.D. Doerksen, S. Kang, D. Walsh, Q. Yang, D. Hong, and J.T.C. Liu, "Multiplexed molecular imaging of fresh tissue surfaces enabled by convection-enhanced topical staining with SERS-coded nanoparticles, Small (2016)
  7. Y. Wang, S. Kang, A. Khan, G. Ruttner, S.Y. Leigh, M. Murray, S. Abeytunge, G. Peterson, M. Rajadhyaksha, S. Dintzis, S. Javid, and J.T.C. Liu, “Quantitative molecular phenotyping with topically applied SERS nanoparticles for intraoperative guidance of breast cancer lumpectomy,” Scientific Reports 6, 21242 (2016)
  8. Y. Wang, S. Kang, J. Doerksen, A.K. Glaser, and J.T.C. Liu, “Surgical guidance via multiplexed molecular imaging of fresh tissues labeled with SERS-coded nanoparticles,” IEEE J. Select. Topics Quantum Elect. 22 (2016)
  9. S. Kang*, X. Xu*, E. Navarro, Y. Wang, J.T.C. Liu, and K.M. Tichauer, “Modeling the binding and diffusion of receptor-targeted nanoparticles topically applied on fresh tissue specimens,“ Physics in Medicine and Biology, 64, 045013 (2019).

Honors & awards

  • UW College of Engineering Student Teaching Award (2018)
  • Steve and Lynn Pratt Fellowship (2017)
  • Donald E. Dorset Endowed Fellowship (2016)
  • GAANN Fellowship (2014-2016)
  • Student Presentation Award at the OSA Life Sciences Congress (2015)