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Dr. Frances Ligler

Current Position

Professor at NC State and UNC Chapel Hill

Academic Advisory Board, Plaksha University


Oxford University (D.Phil., D.Sc. Biochemistry

Furman University (B.S. Biochemistry)


Frances S. Ligler is a biochemist and bioengineer who is a 2017 inductee of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Ligler's research dramatically improved the effectiveness of biosensors while at the same time reducing their size and increasing automation. Her work on biosensors made it easier to detect toxins and pathogens in food, water, or when airborne.

In 1986, she joined the US Naval Research Laboratory, where she developed sensors to detect anthrax and botulinum toxin that were deployed during Operation Desert Storm. In 2012, she was named a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

In 2013, she left the US Naval Research Laboratory to become the Lampe Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received an honorary doctorate from Furman University in 2018.


Research Areas:

 Biomedical Microdevices 

Regenerative Medicine Research Interests: microfluidics, tissue on chip, optical analytical devices, biosensors, nanotechnology



 2018, Chair, 28th Anniversary World Congress on Biosensors, Miami

2017-2018, North Carolina State University Innovator of the Year

2017, Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Analytical Chemistry, ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry

2017, National Inventors Hall of Fame

2012, Presidential Rank of Meritorious Senior Professional, awarded by President Barack H. Obama

2005, National Academy of Engineering, Bioengineering Section, Councillor 2014-2017

2003, Presidential Rank of Distinguished Senior Professional, awarded by President George W. Bush

2003. Christopher Columbus Foundation Homeland Security Award (Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Field)

Elected Fellow: SPIE, AIMBE, AAAS, National Academy of Inventors