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San Diego ARCS Scholars Impacting Our World


"It's Just Magical What Scientists Are Doing"

As a professor of journalism at San Diego State University for 25 years, Barbara Hartung, PhD, maintained a keen understanding of the global issues impacting everyday lives. She still does. Now retired, she and her husband, Jim, a former banking executive, travel the world and actively engage in local civic activities.

Both are proponents of the vibrant scientific research community in the San Diego area and at Scripps Research, in particular. Barbara joined the San Diego chapter of the ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Foundation, which lends financial support to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing studies in scientific fields. “Many of the young scientists we supported would come speak at our meetings,” she says, “and I always found the graduate students from Scripps Research to be really impressive.” (The graduate program at Scripps Research is consistently ranked among the ten best in the nation by U. S. News & World Report.)

She and Jim were moved to add their personal support to the graduate program at Scripps Research, as well as making regular unrestricted gifts. “We’re not huge donors but we give what we can because science affects us so directly,” says Jim. “We believe the students at Scripps Research are doing such creative things and we need more dedicated young people in science.”

The couple also attend as many lectures and public events at Scripps Research as they can. “We don’t miss a one,” says Jim. “It’s just magical what scientists are doing. The faculty and students there are outstanding, and we know we’re supporting the best with our donations.”

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From Science Fiction to the Future of Cancer Treatments

Science fiction can inspire the future, becoming the basis for many scientific and technological advances. For one ARCS Scholar, it ignited a passion.

ARCS Scholar Ashley Kroll credits the world of science fiction with starting her passion for Nanoengineering. “I learned about this field when I started reading science fiction in high school, especially the works of Michael Crichton,” said Kroll. “I found out how material properties can change at a very small scale from reading these books and now I am studying the use of nanoscale materials for biomedical applications.”

As a graduate student at the University of California San Diego, Ashley is currently investigating how immunostimulatory nanoparticles can be coated with the membrane from cancer cells to provoke the immune system to form strong and specific immunity against tumors. She is constantly inspired to continue her work by the potential lives it could change, “Nanoparticles and nanoparticle properties have so much untapped potential for interacting with the human body in ways current medicines cannot,” said Kroll. “With proper engineering and design, I can envision nanomedicine as having a huge impact in improving many diseases. I specifically feel driven to work on cancer treatment as it has a devastating impact on so many families. In fact, in the middle of my graduate career, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer — which brought a whole new meaning to my work and inspired me to work harder than before.”

Ashley is grateful for the opportunity the ARCS Scholar Award provides her, allowing her to offset her living costs and audit additional courses to further her research. “As an ARCS Scholar, I have been able to audit courses related to my research which has significantly improved and sped up my project progress. Without the award, I would not have had time to supplement my immunology background, and I have no doubt it would have made my research much more challenging!”

Fund scholars, like Ashley, who are changing the world with their passion for science with a donation to ARCS Foundation.



Spotlight on Scholars: Rigo Cintron-Colon

New Research from Scripps Research Reveals Pathway for Anti-Aging Therapies

Photo of Rigo Cintron-Colon, Manuel Sanchez-Alavez, M.D., Ph.D. and Bruno Conti, Ph.D. 

Two new studies led by scientists at Scripps Research could guide future therapies to improve health and lifespan. Together, the studies in animal models shed light on how reducing calorie intake directly influences lifespan by also reducing body temperature... Read more about this exciting discovery in our Fall 2017 Insider



UC San Diego ARCS Scholar Cody Carpenter Featured in Publication on the Sense of Touch

Less than skin deep: humans can feel molecular differences between nearly identical surfaces

Originally published at

San Diego, Calif., Dec. 13, 2017 -- How sensitive is the human sense of touch? Sensitive enough to feel the difference between surfaces that differ by just a single layer of molecules, a team of researchers at the University of California San Diego has shown.... Read More



Future NASA Rovers Could Be Sporting New Gears, Thanks To Work By UC San Diego Scholar Alumni

Article originally published here:

Moving a research lab can be a huge headache. Equipment needs to be dismantled. Experiments are put on pause. But for former UC San Diego materials science and engineering Ph.D. student Laura Andersen, her lab’s move opened up an exciting opportunity—a summer internship at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, better known as JPL, developing wear resistant gears for spacecraft... Read More

San Diego ARCS Members Making an Impac

San Diego Members Making a Difference

Longtime Member Reflects on ARCS Legacy

New TSRI Research Reveals Pathway for Anti-Aging Therapies

Photo of Betty Simm

An honorary emeritus member of ARCS San Diego, Betty Simm was one of the organization’s founders and in the past six decades has seen the amazing growth and impact of ARCS Foundation nationwide... Read the rest of this feature on the ARCS National site