UCI electrical engineer and computer scientist H. Kumar Wickramasinghe has been awarded a three-year, $1 million grant by the W.M. Keck Foundation to develop new equipment for the analysis of messenger ribonucleic acid levels in space and time within a living cell. He hopes to create a single-cell analyzer that will have applications in fields ranging from developmental and systems biology to personalized medicine, cancer diagnosis and stem cell research. Wickramasinghe (pictured) has appointments in four departments at UCI’s engineering school, where he’s the Henry Samueli Endowed Chair in Electrical Engineering. He will collaborate on the project with professors Kavita Arora and Dr. Arthur Lander and associate professor Rahul Warrior of UCI’s School of Biological Sciences;
N. Alice Yamada, manager of molecular and cellular biology at Agilent Technologies; and associate professor Dr. Edward L. Nelson, chief of the hematology/oncology division, in UCI’s School of Medicine. Based in Los Angeles, the W.M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 by the late W.M. Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Company. The foundation’s grant making is focused primarily on pioneering efforts in the areas of medical, science and engineering research.