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BME Ross Lampe Distinguished Professor Frances S. Ligler, has been recognized by The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) with the Simon Ramo Founders Award “for extraordinary impact on the engineering profession” and, more specifically, “for the invention and development of portable optical biosensors, service to the nation and profession, and educating the next, more diverse generation of engineers.”

The Simon Ramo Founders Award is given to an outstanding NAE member who has upheld the ideals and principles of the NAE through professional, educational, and personal achievement and accomplishment. Dr. Ligler received the award on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, at the NAE annual meeting, held virtually this year. A member of NAE since 2005, Ligler developed a new chemistry for attaching biomolecules on sensor surfaces that maintained their functionality more efficiently than existing approaches and then integrated emerging technologies from a variety of fields to make optical biosensors smaller, more versatile and more automated. As a result, biosensors are now utilized in several areas, from food production plants to pollutant cleanup sites.

Dr. Ligler has more than 400 publications, including 35 U.S. patents and four books, and has served on editorial boards for nine journals. Her inventions have been directly commercialized in 11 biosensor products used in food production plants, clinics in developing countries, pollution cleanup sites and areas of concern for military and homeland security. She has mentored numerous university faculty members and more than 60 postdoctoral fellows, and co-published research with approximately 200 undergraduates. The Joint BME Department congratulates Dr. Frances S. Ligler on receiving this prestigious award! You can read the official NAE announcement here and watch Dr. Ligler’s remarks video here.

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