Postdoctoral researcher Leland Hyman
WARF Accelerator Award Given to Advance Lab-on-a-chip, Single-cell Analysis Method

Scientists around the world may soon use a method developed by postdoctoral researcher Leland Hyman to study cell-to-cell variability in diverse cell populations. Hyman’s method, which he developed during his time as a graduate student, provides scientists with gene expression information from tens of thousands of single cells.

Assistant Professor Phil Romero
Assistant Professor
Phil Romero.

“Single-cell methods are becoming increasingly important across the life sciences," said Philip "Phil" Romero, an assistant professor of biochemistry and Hyman’s graduate and postdoctoral research adviser. “In situations like cancer, for example, the behavior of a few “outlier cells” can be responsible for driving disease progression and response to treatments.”

But Hyman's initial microfluidic prototype is out of reach of many immunology, cancer biology and biochemistry laboratories because it requires specialized equipment and expertise to operate.

With the support of a WARF Accelerator Award, Hyman will work with Bio-Rad Laboratories to adapt his method to work on Bio-Rad's existing instruments and make his method more broadly accessible to life sciences researchers.

WARF Accelerator provides resources for inventors, including industry expertise and targeted funding, to help de-risk the most commercially promising and urgent technologies and advance them closer to the marketplace.

This story was written by Catherine Steffel, PhD. Please direct any questions you have about this story to More information about Hyman’s method can be found on the WARF website.