Ahna Skop | wisconsinacademy.org
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Ahna Skop

Geneticist / Artist / Author

  • Fellow
  • 2024
Arts, Communication, Genetics, Science

Dr. Ahna Skop is an internationally known geneticist and cell biologist, artist, author, and a vigorous ambassador for women in science. Dr. Skop received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and minored in Ceramics from Syracuse University in 1994, and a PhD in Cell & Molecular Biology from UW-Madison in 2000.

After a postdoc at UC-Berkeley, she joined the Laboratory of Genetics at UW-Madison in 2004 where her lab studies how cells divide and communicate, knowing that failures in this process can lead to cancer, microcephaly, and neurodegenerative disease. Her lab focuses on a newly appreciated RNA-based organelle called the midbody that may play a role in the spread of cancer. Dr. Skop and her lab have also demonstrated a commitment to the accessibility and communication of science through art. 

She mentors art and life sciences communication student projects to make science approachable and fun. She recently published a coloring book about genetics and model organism use in science that complements her 40-ft scientific art installation called “Genetic Reflections” in the UW-Madison Biotech Center. Dr. Skop is also a passionate advocate for the historically marginalized and women in science through her current and past national service with SACNAS, ASCB Minority Affairs Committee, UW-Madison campus efforts, and social media. 

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