Jordan J. N. Tang

Class of
Jordan J. N. Tang

Jordan J. N. Tang

"Tang is a true Oklahoma success story. He came here from a foreign land, barely able to speak the language, with little more than hope in his pockets. He embraced this state, and it embraced him. And both are richer for it."
H.E. Rainbolt, 2006


Dr. Jordan J. N. Tang came to Oklahoma from Taiwan in 1955 to attend Oklahoma State University, where he earned a master’s degree. Later, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma and completed postdoctoral training at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. In 1957, Tang joined the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, where he became one of the world’s leading experts on proteases, a group of proteins crucial to human health. Over the next 51 years at OMRF, his work has led to a deeper understanding of these vital proteins and to a new treatment for HIV/AIDS, hypertension, and an Alzheimer’s drug that is undergoing human clinical trials. Tang held the J.G. Puterbaugh Chair in Medical Research at OMRF for 31 years, where he headed the protein studies research program.Tang has also lectured and taught at 50 universities on five continents and has published more than 200 articles in the world’s leading scientific journals. His research has been recognized and honored by the Guggenheim Foundation, National Institute of Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences and the United Nations. He is the only Oklahoman ever to receive the Alzheimer’s Association of America’s highest research prize: the $1 million Pioneer Award.

Fun fact

Tang's discoveries have led to breakthroughs in such diseases as stomach cancer, hypertension, AIDS, and Alzheimer's.

Oklahoma connections

A transplant from Taiwan, Tang came to Oklahoma State University in 1955.


Oklahoma City







Relevant Exhibits

Intellectual Changemakers: Celebrating Oklahoma's Visionaries

Intellectual Changemakers: Celebrating Oklahoma's Visionaries

This exhibit features seven inspiring Oklahomans that helped to reshape our understanding of the world and inspired peope to make changes.