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Devin Schweppe, PhD, and Brian Beliveau, PhD, assistant professors in the UW School of Medicine Department of Genome Sciences, in collaboration with Keriann Backus, PhD, assistant professor of Biological Chemistry at UCLA, were awarded a $1.3 million grant from the Keck Foundation in December 2023 to develop a scalable single cell protein detection method.

Devin Schweppe and Brian Beliveau.

Keck Awards support pioneering discoveries in science, engineering and medical research, funding high-risk and high-impact work of leading researchers that lay the groundwork for new paradigms, technologies, and discoveries that will save lives, provide innovative solutions and add to our understanding of the world.

The grant will fund research on a new approach to single-cell quantitative measurements of proteins called massively multiplexed single-cell proteomics (MMP), developed by Schweppe, Beliveau and Backus. MMP’s key innovation is the use of a novel set of chemical barcodes to quantify all proteins within individual cells (single-cell proteomes). MMP can quantify proteins from single-cells using robust, scalable and easily accessible methods on par with single-cell RNA and DNA assays. Schweppe and Beliveau will use MMP to investigate how cell-to-cell variability contributes to drug resistance, cellular differentiation, heterogeneous organoid biology, and cellular diversity in the individual cells of primary mammalian tissues.