Media Release


Monday May 2, 2016

Meet The Minds of the Future:
ARCS Foundation visits Sand Hill Road for 2016 ARCS Symposium
Event brings heightened exposure to young scientists’ work in STEM and medical research fields

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA – May 6, 2016) — Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation, Northern California Chapter (NCC) held its 2nd annual ARCS Symposium on Monday, May 2, 2016 at Quadrus, 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, California. The event showcased the accomplishments of outstanding students pursuing advanced degrees in STEM and medical research fields who have received support from ARCS Foundation in the form of flexible financial awards.

Supporting young scientists at the seed stage of their research, ARCS fulfills an essential funding need during early career phases that are rarely served by traditional funding sources. As recently stated in The Wall Street Journal, the number of science and engineering grant recipients younger than 36 fell to 3% in 2010, from 18% in 1983. Knowing that a failure to sustain young scientists in the discovery phase of their work points to a future dearth of innovation and economic vitality, ARCS Foundation designed a Symposium to enable top young scientists to introduce their work to Silicon Valley influencers, and to each other.

Recipients of ARCS Foundation Northern California Chapter awards represent six universities: Stanford University, San Francisco State University, and the University of California at Berkeley, Davis, Santa Cruz and San Francisco (UCSF .)

“This is a unique and amazing opportunity to meet the next generation of top scientists and inventors, before they are known outside of academia,” shared 2016 ARCS Symposium Chair Nancy Mueller , who secured Sequoia Capital Founder and Chairman Sir Michael Moritz as the event’s keynote speaker.

Speaking to an audience of more than 300, twice the attendance of the inaugural ARCS Symposium held at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California in May 2015, Sir Michael Moritz lauded the pursuit of science and the unique “obsession” which marks the dedication and focus that those in STEM and medical research bring to the enormous questions they pursue. ARCS Foundation, Moritz noted, occupies a most wonderful role, “supporting young unproven scientists in their chosen fields, well before anyone in the venture capital business or elsewhere has recognized their capabilities.”

Those gathered to honor the 2015-16 ARCS Scholar award recipients included academics, leaders from technology, finance, venture capital and life sciences industries, past ARCS award recipients including Clear Street Chair Kim Polese, and philanthropists dedicated to support of young scientists pursuing research at its seed stage.

Following Sir Michael Moritz’s keynote, six onstage presentations and 59 student poster presentations spanned four topic categories: Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Engineering and Environmental Sciences. The program was assembled by ARCS Symposium Scientific Advisor W. James Nelson, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, Molecular and Cellular Physiology, and Rudy J. and Daphne Donohue Munzer Professor in the School of Medicine,Stanford University.

ARCS Scholar Steven Kubiski (Ph.D. Program, Integrative Pathobiology, UC Davis), who led off the Scholar presentations expressed his appreciation for the support and flexibility that the ARCS Award has offered. “We’re in a difficult finding climate right now, with respect to funding scientific research. Getting ARCS funding, and the flexibility that it provides in its ability to fund stipend support, research support or tuition support is majorly beneficial to someone like me and my ability to complete a Ph.D.”

Susan Mooradian, President of ARCS Foundation Northern California Chapter, mentioned a key benefit of the ARCS award: the valuable networking and visibility it brings to each Scholar Award recipient and her/his work.

“Besides addressing a funding need at this critical research stage, ARCS invites promising young scientists to forge interdisciplinary connections across a number of scientific fields. The Symposium event extends ARCS Foundation’s investment in ARCS Scholarsbyfacilitating conversation with those attending the event, many of whom represent Silicon Valley’s most notable enterprises.”

Nancy Mueller, Sir Michael Moritz

ARCS Scholar Jennifer Burt, UC Santa Cruz

ARCS Scholar Adam Elkhaled, UCSF; Tim Ritchie, The Tech Museum of Innovation

Sanjay Govindjed, UC Berkeley; ARCS Scholar Audrey Ford, UC Berkeley

Noah Diffenbaugh, Stanford University; Stephen Monismith, Stanford University

2016 ARCS Symposium Honorary Committee: Allison Bhusri, Gretchen de Baubigny, Karin and David Chamberlain, Peggy and Yogen Dalal, Dagmar Dolby, Carol and Dixon Doll, Phyllis and William H. Draper III, Jill and Norm Fogelsong, Cynthia and John Gunn, Jill H. Kramer, Linda and Steve Millard, Betty and Gordon Moore, Davika Patil, Jennifer and Scott Sandell, Judy Swanson.

2016 ARCS Symposium Sponsors: Capital Group PCS, Cooley LLP, Gilead, Glynn Capital Management, Patricia McGuire, Susan and Gib Myers, Goldman Sachs, Frank and Denise Quattrone Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Shypulski, Silicon Valley Bank, Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, Wreyford Family Foundation.

2016 ARCS Symposium Wine Sponsor: Joel Gott Wines

2016 ARCS Symposium Special Thanks: 1185 Palo Alto; Drew Altizer Photography, Computer History Museum, Cyperus Media, Quadrus Conference Center & Café, The Space Station Museum Novato, The Tech Museum of Innovation.

About ARCS® Foundation: ARCS Foundation is a national nonprofit volunteer women’s organization that promotes American competitiveness by supporting talented U.S. citizens working to complete degrees in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and health disciplines at the nation’s leading research colleges and universities. Since 1958, the organization has awarded more than $96 million to more than 9,000 students. ARCS Scholars have produced thousands of research publications and patents, secured billions in grant funding, started science related companies, and played a significant role in teaching and mentoring young people in the STEM pipeline. More at

Founded in 1970, the Northern California Chapter of ARCS Foundation has raised more than $18 million for 2,455 scholars representing the highest nationally ranked departments of science, engineering and medical research in Northern California’s universities. For the 2015–2016 academic year, $717,000 was awarded by the chapter to 63 scholars from six universities: Stanford University, San Francisco State University, and the University of California campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Santa Cruz and San Francisco (UCSF). More at