Dr. Yexun ('Bill') Wang, Senior Director R&D, Frederick, MD.
Research is generally a very slow process, but Bill Wang and his team have delivered a tidal wave of results fast in recent years: six patent applications, five papers, three digital sequencing product lines since 2013. For clinical researchers around the world, the most important breakthrough is probably his work on digital sequencing technology, a novel method that can count and differentiate individual DNA molecules during the next-generation sequencing (NGS) workflow.
The brain behind this technology grew up in China and acquired the nickname ’Bill’ in school English lessons. In 1998, he moved to Minneapolis where he earned a PhD at the University of Minnesota. He first worked for SABiosciences, a company acquired by QIAGEN in 2009, and gained a reputation as a courageous, unconventional mind. “I’m an out-of-the-box thinker,” Bill says, “but I’m also a perfectionist. I never take blind risks and do lots of thinking and calculations before I undertake something.”