The Arc Model

Arc researchers pursue both curiosity-driven exploration and goal-oriented research. The institute will initially focus on complex diseases, including neurodegeneration, cancer, and immune dysfunction. This challenge requires researchers across many disciplines to study fundamental biological mechanisms, develop new technologies, and innovate on therapeutic concepts.
Arc is organized around three key concepts, each consisting of an institutional experiment on how research can be accelerated. We seek to foster an environment built on scientific curiosity, a deep commitment to truth, and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Core Investigators

We fully fund our investigators with complete freedom to pursue curiosity-driven research agendas. Core Investigators will run labs that are fully funded for renewable, eight year appointments. They will have complete autonomy to pursue their very best research ideas in accordance with their own judgment, regardless of short-term risk. Arc investigators may hold faculty positions at our partner institutions, and graduate students at Stanford, UC Berkeley, and UCSF can pursue their PhD studies at Arc labs.

By disconnecting the need for grant writing and career survival from rapid publications, single-author credit, and project-based timelines, our goal is to free our researchers to work on more collaborative, more significant, and longer-term challenges.

Technology Development Centers

As biomedical research has become more advanced, it has become more dependent on complicated tooling that is difficult or impossible for any single lab to pursue today. Arc Technology Centers are focused on advancing and distributing key biomedical technologies within the institute that require high capital scale, targeted expertise, and systematic innovation.

Our Technology Centers provide long-term career options for Arc scientists beyond their training period. By enabling competitive compensation relative to the biotech and tech industries (such as for research scientists and computer programmers), our goal is to expand the ecosystem of available career paths in research and maintain continuity in critical technical know-how.

Arc’s initial Centers include:
  1. Complex ex vivo models

    We will build organoids and other multi-cell type models of human tissues that enable rapid testing of genetic, chemical, and environmental perturbations.

  2. Advanced genome engineering

    This center will specialize in ex vivo and in vivo perturbations of the genome and transcriptome, and advancement of new genome editing tools.

  3. Mammalian disease models

    We will develop in vivo models of human diseases that more accurately recapitulate our physiology.

  4. Multi-omics

    This center will focus on deploying and advancing technologies such as single cell and spatial transcriptomics, long read sequencing, and next-gen proteomics.

  5. Computation

    Arc software, data, and machine learning engineers partner with experimentalists to dissect biological complexity.

Translational Programs

Making an impact on complex diseases requires new fundamental biological insights into disease mechanisms and new technologies that can target rational therapeutic pathways at the right place and time in the body. In addition to curiosity-driven knowledge building, producing medically useful discoveries is a core mission of Arc. Arc will build translational infrastructure to support the distribution of new biological insights and biotechnologies into the clinical environment.

This branch of the institute will be dedicated to reducing the friction of transferring academic research into for-profit spin-outs. This includes a streamlined IP licensing process, funding support, and an advisory network of drug development and domain experts. We will also create focused, entrepreneurial teams dedicated to testing specific ideas, such as a new gene target or effector molecule, within the institute. Our goal is to empower Arc scientists, engineers, and inventors to accelerate their work into impact on patients.