Dr. Soong was born in Tokyo, Japan of Chinese parents who had emigrated from Shanghai in 1949. Upon graduation from high school, he came to the United States 1967 and received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from MIT, after which attended graduate school at Cornell University in electrical engineering and neurophysiology. He received his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York in 1978 and completed his eye residency at the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital, before doing a two-year fellowship in cornea and external disease at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary of Harvard Medical School. Following his training, he joined the faculty in ophthalmology at the W.K. Kellogg Eye Center in 1984.
Dr. Soong's clinical interests include external disease and refractive surgery, excimer laser surgery, corneal and conjunctival diseases (corneal dystrophies, degenerative conditions, infections, ulcers, corneal and conjunctival tumors, corneal involvement in systemic diseases, and dry eyes) and surgery (high risk corneal transplants with previous graft rejection with concomitant anterior segment problems), ocular surface problems with respect to corneal epithelial wound healing, and incisional and excimer laser refractive surgery. Dr. Soong's research interests include serving as co-investigator in the Collaborative Corneal Transplantation Study, cell biology of corneal epithelial migration and specific cytoskeletal proteins in wound healing, acceleration of corneal wound healing using various hormone and/or peptide eye drops, and use of weak electrical fields to influence corneal epithelial wound healing, femtosecond laser biophysics, and dry eyes.
He is interested in international ophthalmology and has traveled to Eastern Europe, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean to lecture and render eye care. He speaks seven languages. Dr. Soong has visited Haiti many times since 1997 and returned immediately after the January, 2010 earthquake, providing emergency care in a tent hospital in Port-au-Prince. Currently, he is a board member of the Haiti Nursing Foundation and the American Academy of Ophthalmology Haiti Relief Task Force. He continues to travel regularly to Haiti and is active in fund-raising for Haitian medical organizations. Dr. Soong is professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences in the U-M Health System.