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Two Biology Graduate Students Awarded ARCS Foundation Fellowships

November 10, 2016

By Kim McDonald

Adults standing and holding a check

Representatives of the ARCS Foundation San Diego chapter joined Chancellor Khosla and fellowship recipients for a special check presentation ceremony.

Erika Johnson/University Communications

Two graduate students in the Division of Biological Sciences, Danielle Hagstrom and Ben Rubin, have been awarded fellowships that recognize exceptional students pursuing research in the natural sciences, engineering and medicine from the San Diego chapter of the ARCS Foundation, Inc.

A national nonprofit organization led entirely by women, the ARCS Foundation is dedicated to boosting American leadership in science and technology by supporting promising undergraduate and graduate students. Since its inception in 1985, the San Diego chapter has awarded nearly $5 million to graduate students at UC San Diego.

Hagstrom and Rubin were among 34 UC San Diego graduate students who this year received a total of $255,000 in fellowship awards from the ARCS Foundation.

In addition to their financial awards, recognition as an ARCS Scholar gives students access to a network of talented researchers in academia and industry.

"I feel very proud and honored to be recognized as an ARCS Scholar," said Hagstrom, who received the fellowship for the second year in a row.

Hagstrom's research focuses on understanding how common pesticides damage the developing brain. She studies freshwater planaria—a kind of flatworm—that have the ability to regrow a new head and brain. The process involves many of the same key mechanisms as human brain development, explained Hagstrom, allowing researchers to gain insights into how these chemicals affect important developmental events.

Support from the ARCS Foundation has enabled Hagstrom to focus on her research and take advantage of opportunities to enhance her education, including participating in national scientific conferences.

"I am so grateful for the networking opportunities that being a part of this great organization has provided," she said.

More information on this year's fellowship awards to UC San Diego is available at UC San Diego News Center