Fang is professor and director of the Department of Agricultural Microbiology and Biotechnology, Institute of Microbiology (IOM), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). He was the director of IOM from 2000 to 2004 and elected a member of CAS in 2003. He has made important contributions in plant virology and plant biotechnology. He has characterized the genomes of several plant viruses including cauliflower mosaic virus and rice yellow stunt rhabdovirus. He successfully developed the transgenic tobacco plants resistant to both tobacco mosaic virus and cucumber mosaic virus, which were planted as early as 1992 at the largest scale in the world at that time. He also analyzed and improved the CaMV 35S promoter which has been widely used in plant biotechnology. More recently, he developed an artificial miRNA approach to control plant virus infection.