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Program Directors:

Mailing Address:

Siebel Scholars Foundation
1300 Seaport Blvd., Suite 400
Redwood City, CA 94063


(650) 299-5260

2010 - Marcio von Muhlen

Cancer research and the business case for clean energy present some of the top challenges facing the world, and Marcio von Muhlen is determined to have an impact in both areas.  As a Ph.D. candidate in Biological Engineering and as Managing Director of the MIT Clean Energy Prize, Marcio is motivated by entrepreneurism and a desire to be a positive force in the world.

Born and raised in Brazil, Marcio is pursuing doctoral research focused on development of instruments for improved biomolecular detection.  Most recently, he worked with an interdisciplinary team of researchers to develop a micromechanical sensor that can detect cancer biomarkers in blood while requiring fewer than half the expensive biological reagents typically needed for these measurements.  The sensor also does not require expensive optical components, such as lasers and lenses, thus having the potential to be substantially cheaper than current technologies.  Marcio and his team recently submitted results to Analytical Chemistry and presented at the 2009 National Cancer Institute Alliance for Nanotechnology Conference.

Outside the lab, Marcio has been working to build visibility and participation in the MIT Clean Energy Prize, a student-led business plan competition with a $200,000 cash grand prize.  He led more than 20 students in organizing the 2009 competition, including an outreach campaign that successfully expanded the competition from a regional to a national presence, netting 113 entries from 40 universities.  With Marcio’s help, the Prize engaged industry leaders and high-profile investors as judges and mentors, and secured personal congratulations from U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu for members of the grand-prize-winning team, Husk Insulation.

Marcio plans to follow his entrepreneurial instinct to leverage technology to help people lead better lives, and is presently working with several lab-stage MIT projects that have potential for commercialization.