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Frances Ligler, D.Sc.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2012
Engineered automated biosensors for fast, on-site detection of pathogens, toxins, pollutants, drugs of abuse, and explosives.

Ligler To Be Inducted Into National Inventors Hall Of Fame

Via NC State | February 27, 2017

Dr. Frances Ligler, Lampe Distinguished Professor in the UNC/NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, is one of 15 2017 inductees into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Ligler is being recognized for her innovative application of emerging technologies in a variety of fields to make optical biosensors smaller, more versatile and more sophisticated. Thanks to her work conducted at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), biosensors have moved out of the lab and into use for food safety, disease diagnosis, pollution control and homeland security.

“I am humbled and honored to be in such great company,” Ligler said. “As an innovator that enjoyed hands-on, STEM activities in my early childhood years, I look forward to partnering with the National Inventors Hall of Fame to inspire the next generation of STEM innovators, especially young women, who aspire to be inventors in their own right.”

Dr. B. Jayant Baliga, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Dr. Donald Bitzer, Distinguished University Research Professor in the Department of Computer Science, are the College’s other two Hall of Fame inductees.

With three inductees currently affiliated with universities, NC State is tied with Stanford and trails only MIT in the number of living members of the Hall of Fame who are affiliated with universities in the United States.

A biosensor is a device using biological molecules to detect a chemical or biological target. Ligler developed a new chemistry for attaching biomolecules on sensor surfaces that maintained their functionality far better than prior approaches and then integrated emerging technologies from a variety of fields to make optical biosensors smaller, more versatile, and more automated. The resulting biosensors have moved out of the lab and into food production plants, clinics in developing countries, pollutant cleanup sites, and areas of concern for military and homeland security.

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Introducing Dr. Frances Ligler

Via NC State Engineering | September 1, 2013

Dr. Frances Ligler is new to the College of Engineering at NC State, but she’s far from being a novice. A pioneer in the fields of biosensors and microfluidics, Ligler’s seminal concepts in biosensing and transfer to industrial products, including the development of detection systems for biological agents, led to being elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2005. She was recognized with the Presidential Rank Awards of Distinguished Senior Professional and of Meritorious Senior Professional in 2003 and 2012, respectively.

Recently, Ligler was named the inaugural Lampe Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at NC State – home to the National Science Foundation ASSIST Engineering Research Center and bioengineering initiatives in multiple departments. She brings 28 years of experience gained at the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC, as Senior Scientist for Biosensors and Biomaterials. Ligler holds patents that have led to 11 commercial biosensor products – devices that use biological materials to monitor the presence of chemicals in a substance.

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