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Mona Jarrahi of UCLA receives generous research funding

18 November 2016

Mona Jarrahi
Mona Jarrahi

SPIE Senior Member Mona Jarrahi of UCLA has been recognized by The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for her research and invention of a ground breaking imaging tool. She is set to receive nearly a million dollars over the next three years to fund her research as part of a new scientific fellowship program.

The foundation's new fellowship program is committed to recognizing early-career innovators at U.S. universities who have the potential to accelerate progress and development in scientific research, environmental conservation, and patient care. Jarrahi is one of five inaugural Moore Inventor Fellows for 2016. Each fellow will receive $825,000 over the next three years as well as a $50,000 a year commitment from their home institution. The Gordon and Betty Moore foundation plans to invest nearly $34 million within the next 10 years in support of Moore Inventor Fellows and their research.

"We are investing in promising scientist-problem solvers with a passion for inventing – like Gordon Moore himself," said Harvey V. Fineberg, MD, PhD, president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. "By providing support to these early-career researchers, we can give them the freedom to try out new ideas that could make a real and positive difference."

Jarrahi has been an associate professor of electrical engineering at UCLA since 2013. She is also in charge of the University's Terahertz Electronics Laboratory. Her research includes ultrafast electronic devices, imaging, and innovative optical concepts. Jarrahi's invention of an imaging tool, which helps researchers to understand the natural behavior of fundamental biological molecules, exceeds the limitations of current technologies.

In September, Popular Mechanics magazine awarded Jarrahi its Breakthrough Award for her research on terahertz radiation. She has significantly increased the sensitivity of terahertz scanners, providing researchers with ability to see deeper into tissues and potentially detect early signs of cancer.

Jarrahi has been a member of SPIE since 2010 and achieved Senior Member status in 2013. She has served on the Membership & Communities Committee and the Conference Program Committee for Terahertz Emitters, Receivers, and Applications VI at SPIE Optics + Photonics in San Diego and Quantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices XI at SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco.

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