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Victor M. Ugaz

Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, TAMU

Phone: 979-458-1002



Dr. Victor Ugaz is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and the Holder of the Charles D. Holland ’53 Professorship at Texas A&M University (College Station, TX, USA). He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas (Austin, TX, USA), and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University (Chicago, IL, USA). Ugaz spent three years as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI, USA) under the supervision of Prof. Mark Burns, a pioneer in the area of integrated microfluidic DNA analysis systems. He joined the faculty in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M in January 2003, where he is also a member of the Interdisciplinary Faculty Group in Forensic and Investigative Sciences. Dr. Ugaz’s research interests involve developing innovative microfluidic technologies to enable field-based nucleic acid analysis, separations, and point of use assays relevant to microbial forensics applications. He has published 78 scientific articles and book chapters in journals such as Science, Proceedings of National Academies of Sciences USA, Advanced Materials, Angewandte Chemie, Nano Letters, Nature Communications, Physical Review Letters, Lab on a Chip, Analytical Chemistry, and Electrophoresis. His research has been funded by a variety of sources including the US National Science Foundation and the US National Institutes of Health, US Department of Energy, US Department of Defense, and State of Texas. He has served as President and Newsletter co-Editor of the American Electrophoresis Society (AES), and serves on editorial boards of the journals PLoS ONE and Scientific Reports.

General Research Areas

My research focuses on harnessing the unique characteristics of transport and flow at the microscale to enable new chemical and biochemical analysis technologies.  Specific areas of interest include:

  • Learning how to control transport of charged biomolecules (DNA,  proteins) in micro- and nano-scale surroundings to achieve faster and more efficient separations
  • Harnessing microscale convective flow fields to execute thermally driven biochemical reactions such as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in a faster and more efficient manner
  • Designing novel geometries to mix chemical species in microchannels by exploiting secondary flow phenomena
  • Developing new techniques that help understand how to manipulate and tailor the bulk properties of hydrogels by controlling their nanoporous morphology
  • Constructing 3D vascular networks for biomedical applications using novel manufacturing methods