Associate Professor, Department of Genetics
Affiliate Faculty, Life Sciences Communication
Affiliate Faculty, UW-Madison Arts Institute
UW-Madison SACNAS Chapter Advisor
608-262-1593 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Hometowns: Fort Thomas, KY & New Haven, CT
Education: Syracuse University BS in Biology, Minor in Ceramics; UW-Madison, PhD in Cell & Molecular Biology; UC-Berkeley, Postdoc
Website(s): Skop Lab, STEM diversity @UW, Foodskop
Ahna Skop is a geneticist, artist and a winner of the prestigious Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Her lab seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie asymmetric cell division during embryonic development using the nematode, C. elegans as a model system. Failures in cell division often lead to birth defects, age-related diseases and cancer. Understanding how cells divide is highly dependent on in vivo microscopy and large amounts of visual data, which dovetails perfectly with one of her other passions, art. The combination of scientist and artist inspires her to think differently and maintain an open mind. Ahna’s scientific art work can be seen in the main entrance of the Genetics/Biotechnology Center building on the UW-Madison campus. She has also curated and contributed to a traveling exhibition of scientific art from the UW-Madison campus and she has organized the bi-annual Worm Art Show for the International C. elegans Meeting for the past 19 years. She currently serves on the Madison Science Museum Board of Directors. On the UW-Madison campus and in her department, she has been passionately involved with several very successful recruitment and retention programs for underrepresented students. She and her lab actively participate in numerous STEM outreach activities on campus, state-wide and nationally. She recently served as a board member for SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) and is a current member of the ASCB (American Society for Cell Biology) Minority Affairs Committee (ASCB-MAC).
What is your passion? I am really passionate science and art. I am equally passionate about STEM diversity.
What advice do you have for undergrads, grads, postdocs seeking careers in STEM fields? “If you love what you do, you will never fail”
Are you involved in any outreach programs (campus, state, or national)? On the UW-Madison campus and in my department, I have been passionately involved with several very successful recruitment and retention programs for underrepresented students. My lab actively participates in numerous STEM outreach activities on campus, state-wide and nationally. I recently served as an elected board member for SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) and I’m a current member of the ASCB (American Society for Cell Biology) Minority Affairs Committee (ASCB-MAC).
What do you like to do when you’re away from work? Cooking, baking, traveling. I especially like to try things I’ve never eaten or done before, including food and adventures. I post my recipes and creations on my foodblog (foodskop.com). I’m also an avid swimmer.