The 2021 ARCS Scholar Symposium is presented this year in a virtual format. Our live program, to be broadcast on Monday, April 26th, will feature a keynote address by Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D., Co-Recipient of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, who will be followed by presentations from six current ARCS Scholars. Our virtual poster session features the research of current Northern California ARCS Scholars.

Chat boxes throughout the Symposium allow you to interact with fellow attendees, as well as ARCS Scholars and ARCS Members. Please use your first and last name for your username. Creating an account will allow you to easily navigate between various chat areas without re-entering your name.


Keynote Speaker

Dr. Jennifer Doudna

Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D. is an American biochemist best known for her discovery with French microbiologist, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Ph.D., of a molecular tool known as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats CRISPR-Cas9. The discovery of CRISPR-Cas9, made in 2012, provided the foundation for gene editing, enabling researchers to make specific changes to DNA sequences in a way that was far more efficient and technically simpler than earlier methods.

In addition to the 2020 Nobel Prize, Doudna has received numerous other awards for her research, including the Gruber Prize in Genetics (2015) and the Canada Gairdner International Award (2016), both shared with Charpentier. Doudna is a Co-Founder of the Innovative Genomics Institute as well as multiple biotechnology companies, most recently Scribe Therapeutics and Mammoth Biosciences.

Presenting Scholars

Six ARCS Scholar Speakers will present their work in fields ranging from robotics to climate change. Upon registering with the Symposium, scholars were asked to self-nominate for presentation during the general session. The ARCS Scholar Relations Committee then selected one student from each of ARCS Northern California's six partner universities, representing a broad cross-section of the research exhibited throughout the Symposium. Our six Presenting Scholars are:

Amelia Munson
Hersh Bhargava
Jan Mikhale Cajulao
Maggie Thompson
Margaret Coad
Sophie Ruehr

Following the main program, these scholars will participate in a Q&A session moderated by Jeremy Reiter, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Biophysics and Biochemistry at UCSF, and Science Advisor, ARCS Foundation, Northern California Chapter.


Poster Hall 1:

Computer Science & Electrical Engineering

Poster Hall 2:

Climate, Environment, & Ecology

Poster Hall 3:


Poster Hall 4:

Physics, Math, & Astronomy

Poster Hall 5:

Cell, Micro, & Molecular Biology

Poster Hall 6:


Poster Hall 7:

Agriculture, Animal Science, & Biology

Poster Hall 8:

Ocean & Earth Sciences

Poster Hall 9:

Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biophysics, & Neuroscience

Poster Hall 10:

Pharmacology & Physiology


Roundtable 1:

Computer Science & Electrical Engineering

Roundtable 2:

Climate, Environment, & Ecology

Roundtable 3:


Roundtable 4:

Physics, Math, & Astronomy

Roundtable 5:

Cell, Micro, & Molecular Biology

Roundtable 6:


Roundtable 7:

Agriculture, Animal Science, & Biology

Roundtable 8:

Ocean & Earth Sciences

Roundtable 9:

Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biophysics, & Neuroscience

Roundtable 10:

Pharmacology & Physiology


ARCS has a 50-year track record of supporting brilliant young scientists at the seed-stage of their careers.  These young scientists tackle complex questions with work that can lead to transformational scientific discoveries, breed visionary public and private enterprises, and train next-generation scientists.  ARCS awards make a difference in their lives – and all our lives, by enhancing opportunities to contribute to the country’s STEM pipeline.

Frederick Baron
Senior Counsel, Cooley, LLP
Member, ARCS NCC Leadership Advisory Council

The mission of ARCS is so inspiring to me. Why wouldn’t you want to get behind an organization that is trying to advance science? You realize that these are hugely talented scientists who just need a bit of financial help. If we can be a part of that, why not? The talent in this group is simply amazing.”

Mike McMullen
CEO, Agilent Technologies

It is important for young people to dream big dreams in leading cutting-edge science for the betterment of our country and the world. ARCS is a great facilitator to accomplish these dreams by providing unrestricted financial support. ARCS Scholar Awards give
these young scientists more freedom to develop their talents in research where they can make a difference.

John Glynn
Founder and CEO, Glynn Capital

I am delighted to see our collaboration supporting great minds creating our future.

Thank you for spearheading ARCS. The NVIDIA team very much enjoys partnering with you.”

Jensen Huang
Founder and CEO, NVIDIA


The 2021 ARCS Scholar Symposium, now in its 7th year, was established by the Northern California Chapter of ARCS Foundation, one of 15 Chapters nationwide. It features the research of current Northern California ARCS Scholars, graduate students in STEM and medical research at San Francisco State University, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC San Francisco, and UC Santa Cruz.

Founded in 1970, this Chapter has funded more than $22.6 million in ARCS Scholar Awards that have made a difference in the lives of these scholars as well as their future careers in science. As science advocates, ARCS members are proud to help keep the STEM pipeline full by providing financial support to these young scientists that we call “The Minds of the Future.” We are also proud that for the past two consecutive years, we have given over $1 million to our universities and that we are “on track” to fund over $1 million for this next academic year (2021-2022) – despite the pandemic. 

“We need to support science as if our lives depend on it – because today they do.” 

Kendra Kramlich

Member, ARCS Northern California Chapter

Empower more scholars. Get involved with ARCS.