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 more than 50 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.



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.


Building Highways for Electrons on Semiconductor Chips

With funding from the W. M. Keck Foundation, researchers at Stanford University, researched novel topological insulator materials where electrons move like automobiles on a highway, spatially separated into different lanes, avoiding backscattering and resulting dissipation.


New Microscopy Method Unveils Nanoparticle Release from Silverware and Jewelry

Since the emergence of nanotechnology, researchers, regulators and the public have been concerned that the potential toxicity of nano-sized products might threaten human health by way of environmental exposure.



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.



Synthetic Cilia-like Structure Engineered to Help Understand the Functioning of Biological Cilia

A team supported by a recent Keck grant to Brandeis University has developed a fundamentally different approach for studying axoneme function. Instead of deconstructing a fully functional organelle from the top-down, they have systematically engineered synthetic cilia-like structures from the bottom-up.


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.


Template Grown Graphene Paves the Way for Nanoelectronics

Graphene electronics, invented in 2003 and patented by Walt de Heer, a recent Keck grantee, is at the verge of revolutionizing electronics. Discovery of graphene was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010, yet it received worldwide attention primarily because of its potential in electronics.


Project Neptune

In 2001, the W. M. Keck Foundation provided a $5 million grant to the University of Washington for a five-year experiment to explore the mysteries of underwater plate tectonics.


Westmont Telescope

Funded in part by a $300,000 grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation in 2004, Westmont College’s Keck Telescope has confirmed the existence of Supernova 2008an.


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.


Next Generation Scanning Tunneling Microscope Soon to Become a Reality

With the help of a $1.3 million grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation, three researchers at Princeton University seek to bring recent advancements in high-speed electronic measurements to STM.


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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