Scholar Research and Accolades



Our scholars and their research are where the vision and work of ARCS Foundation Northern California Chapter are realized. The members of the Northern California Chapter are proud of our scholars and delighted to record their progress and success.  

2017 Distinguished Alum Awardee  

Dr. Jeremy Reiter graduated magna cum laude in Biochemistry from Yale College and completed his PhD and MD in the combined program at UCSF. In 1993, as a young scientist at UCSF, he was an ARCS Scholar; since then, he has mentored many young scientists, including other ARCS Scholars. He has received multiple academic awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award fro Scientists and Engineers, 

the R.R. Bensley Award in Cell Biology and, recently, the ARCS Distinguished Scholar Alumni Award. His current research focuses on how cilia sense cues from other cells to pattern tissues during embryonic development. He and his partner have three children and live in Berkeley.



Past Distinguished Alum Awardees

Timothy C. Dunn, Ph.D. (2012)

Timothy C. Dunn, Ph.D., joined Abbott in 2006.  He is an Associate Research Fellow for Abbott Diabetes Care, focusing on products for people with diabetes and their care providers.  His major areas of expertise are signal processing, system design, and clinical research data analysis.  He has been a key contributor to the development of the data processing algorithms for Abbott’s FreeStyle® Navigator continuous glucose monitoring system.  He has presented at several international conferences about the trends and patterns revealed around meals for people with diabetes using the FreeStyle® Navigator device, and their potential impact on therapy choices.  Currently he coordinates a cross-functional team to develop analysis software to aid clinicians and patients link diabetes treatment decisions with glucose monitoring results.

Dr. Dunn earned his doctorate in bioengineering from the Joint Graduate Group in Bioengineering at University of California Berkeley and University of California San Francisco, received a Management of Technology certificate from the Haas School of Business, and was an ARCS Scholar 2001-2003.  His undergraduate degree from Brown University in biomedical engineering was awarded with honors.  Prior to graduate school, he was a research engineer with Cygnus, as a team member that developed the first continuous, non-invasive glucose monitoring device to receive Food and Drug Administration clearance. 


Jenny Elizabeth Quay (2011)

Jenny Elisabeth Quay, an ARCS Scholar alumna from the Department of Ocean Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is interested in identifying and understanding the environmental factors which cause harmful algal blooms (HABs) along the central coast of California. Her pursuit of this research is undertaken with a multidisciplinary perspective, and with particular consideration of processes acting across the land-sea interface. Jenny chose this field of study because it allows her to both practice research science and facilitate its 'real-world' application; HAB research has broad implications in sectors such as environmental policy, public health protection, and community economics. Jenny was awarded a “Best Presentation Award” at the Annual Meeting of the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) fall 2010, and defended her Ph.D. at UCSC last spring.  Jenny plans to discuss how the award from ARCS® Foundation Northern California Chapter impacted her research identifying the environmental factors which cause blooms of a specific type of toxic alga, Pseudo-nitzschia, along our coastline. This research raised new questions about how we, as humans, may be influencing our coastal ocean environment. Jenny will describe this new line of questioning, why it had been previously disregarded, and how researchers are moving forward in its pursuit. 


George R. Mangun (2010)

George R. Mangun, of the Division of Social Sciences at UC Davis, and Professor of Psychology and Neurology, an international leader in cognitive neuroscience, received his Ph.D. in 1987 from the University of California, San Diego. He began his professorial career in 1990 at Dartmouth College and Medical School in the Program in Cognitive Neuroscience, where he also served as director of the graduate program. In 1992, he joined the Psychology Department at UC Davis as one of the founding faculty members of the Center for Neuroscience. He taught sensation, perception and cognitive neuroscience, developing new courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and serving as head of the Perception and Cognition Area of the Psychology Department.  

In 1999, he was tapped by Duke University to found and direct the interdisciplinary Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. At Duke, he established one of the nation’s most prominent programs for the study of the human brain and mind, recruiting award-winning scholars and developing a strong new graduate training program in cognitive neuroscience. Mangun was recruited back to UC Davis in 2002 to found the Center for Mind and Brain, a major new campus initiative, which he directed until 2009. The center now comprises seventeen faculty laboratories that are supported by more than $16 million in federal and private grants addressing a range of scientific questions at the cutting edge of mind and brain research in health and disease (see  

Kim Polese (2008)

Kim Polese was an ARCS Foundation Scholar while she earned a B.S. in Biophysics at the University of California at Berkeley in 1983. She established her professional reputation as Product Manager for Sun Microsystems, Inc. and was a major player in the development and marketing of its Java programming language. She served as Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of Marimba, a leading provider of internet infrastructure management solutions, which she co-founded in 1996. Currently as CEO of SpikeSource, she is responsible for guiding the company's business vision, whose goal is to enable businesses to harness the power of open source as a flexible, reliable and cost-effective solution for business-critical needs.  


Chris McCarthy (2007)

Chris McCarthy graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1991 with majors in Astronomy and Physics and received a Master's in Physics in 1995. It was at SFSU that he began his search for planets under the direction of Professor Geoff Marcy. His research project, supported by ARCS Foundation, helped astronomers to precisely measure the subtle motions of stars with planets, in spite of the complicating motion of our own swiftly turning Earth. After receiving a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from UCLA, he returned to the planet search team, working first with Dr. Paul Butler at the Carnegie Institution of Washington (DC), and later with Professor Debra Fischer at San Francisco State University. His current project is SIM/PlanetQuest, a future NASA mission capable of detecting planets like Earth.