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By Crystal Carter, Texas A&M Innovation, March 19, 2024

Specific individuals stand out in scientific and technological innovation not only for their remarkable discoveries but also for their visionary leadership. Dr. Frances Ligler, a distinguished inventor and researcher, holds 38 issued U.S. patents and is passionate about empowering others. Dr. Ligler is paving the way for a brighter future in science and technology with her unparalleled expertise and commitment to innovation.

Dr. Ligler, a prominent figure in biosensors and microfluidics, has dedicated her career to developing and fielding cutting-edge technologies that address pressing global challenges in biowarfare defense, food safety, pollution control, and medicine. Her pioneering work has earned her widespread recognition, including election into the National Academy of Engineering and induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame ( and the National Academy of Inventors. Ligler was recently appointed to the Texas A&M Innovation Council of Inventors.

One of Dr. Ligler’s most notable career contributions is her work in point-of-care diagnostics, where she has developed innovative biosensor technologies capable, in portable form factors, of rapidly detecting pathogens and other biomolecules. These advancements work to revolutionize healthcare delivery, particularly in resource-limited settings with limited access to traditional laboratory facilities.

At Texas A&M, Dr. Ligler serves as a driving force behind numerous initiatives to advance scientific knowledge and translate research into real-world applications. As a chaired professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and University Distinguished Professor, she brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her role, inspiring students and colleagues alike to push the boundaries of what is possible.

In addition to her groundbreaking research, Dr. Ligler is deeply committed to fostering collaboration and interdisciplinary partnerships. “Over the next five years, my primary goal is to build bridges between engineers and veterinarians,” Ligler said. “Animal health has problems that need simple-to-implement, low-cost solutions, and engineers need hard problems to solve. In addition, humans can use these solutions to make quality health care more accessible.”

Looking ahead, Dr. Ligler remains excited about the future of innovation. “The widespread acceptance of working across disciplines will trigger new ways of thinking, new ways of solving problems, and new inventions,” she said. “The growing appreciation of the value of translating ideas from the lab to the user will not only benefit society but also encourage more creative individuals and more youth to consider exciting, high-impact careers in engineering.” With her visionary leadership and passion for innovation, she continues to push the boundaries of scientific discovery, inspiring the next generation of researchers and inventors to follow in her footsteps.


Texas A&M Innovation promotes an innovative and entrepreneurial culture among A&M’s research community and uses a rigorous process to guide projects from new innovations through market commercialization. We encourage industry partnerships, support startups and entrepreneurial commercialization, make connections to mentors, funding, and other critical resources to accelerate commercialization of System IP. Through our work we strive to promote regional economic development, and ultimately impact the lives of people locally, nationally and globally.

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