With a mission of providing far-reaching benefits to humanity, the
W. M. Keck Foundation is not only engaged in grantmaking that makes possible the cutting-edge research it funds today, it is, more importantly, investing in the future and in the exponential impact that the research and its findings will have tomorrow.

For 65 years, the Foundation has supported the highest levels of academic inquiry and discovery conducted by the finest researchers at the most innovative institutions in the United States. We have seen the real-world impact of these brilliant, though untested, ideas that have now come to fruition, and we are pleased to share those stories here.


Magnetoelectric Sensors

With funding from the W. M. Keck Foundation, Northeastern University’s Nian Sun and colleagues developed devices that provide a new way of measuring neural activity that is not voltage-dependent.  The grant generated an additional, unexpected and very important outcome.


Mimicking Enzymes, University of Wisconsin-Madison Chemists Produce Large, Useful Carbon Rings

A grant made in 2000 to support a Center for Chemical Genomics to use synthetic organic chemistry and high-throughput screening techniques to study biologically significant molecules continues to pay scientific dividends today.


Project Finds Lean Process Improvements Can Benefit the Bottom Line at Safety Net Hospitals

A demonstration project facilitated by the Institute for Medical Quality (IMQ) and funded by the W. M. Keck Foundation has shown that three safety net hospitals in the Los Angeles area successfully used lean process improvement to reduce ED length of stay.



Predicting Catalyst Selectivity

The Denmark laboratory at the University of Illinois has developed a new, computationally-guided workflow that can accelerate the identification and optimization of catalysts.  A Keck grant made in 2013 has realized its primary goal of leveraging the power of informatics (machine learning) to guide the optimization of certain types of catalysis in organic synthesis.



The Deep-Time Data Infrastructure

With support from the W. M. Keck Foundation, a diverse team of researchers from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, RPI, Rutgers, and the University of Arizona, led by principal investigator, Robert M. Hazen of the Carnegie Institution for Science, have explored new ways to analyze and visualize the evolution of minerals, fossils, rocks, proteins, and planetary systems through billions of years of Earth history.



Blurring the Boundaries of the Animate and Inanimate: Elucidating the fundamental behavior of active matter

With the support of the W. M. Keck Foundation, a team from Brandeis University developed a hierarchy of systematically tunable model systems and materials that capture the essential functionalities found in the living organisms.



Atomically Precise Chemical Modification of Graphene

Researchers at Northwestern University have explored chemical modification of graphene with the goal of establishing new classes of two-dimensional nanomaterials with tailored chemical, electrical and optical properties.



Preserving Landmark Building Reaps Dividends

In 2002, the W. M. Keck Foundation awarded a grant to the Little Tokyo Service Center to renovate the Far East Building and provide a range of services on-site.


Rhythms of the Brain: The "Neurophysics" of Space and Learning

What does space have to do with learning? And what does either of them have to do with brain rhythms? This is the subject of a recent experiment funded by the W. M. Keck Foundation, conducted by a team of researchers at UCLA lead by Professor Mayank Mehta.


Discoveries in Liquids

2007 grantees at Drexel University have demonstrated that light emitted from a new form of plasma (non thermal corona discharge) in liquid permits analysis of the elemental composition of solutions within nanoseconds from volumes that are 10-100 times smaller than a single mammalian cell.


Submit Your Story

If you have received a W. M. Keck Foundation grant in the past and have an impact story you would like to share, send a summary of 500 words or less, a few images and your contact information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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