Genetics Professor Ahna Skop elected into the Wisconsin Academy class of 2024

The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters awarded Genetics Professor Ahna Skop the 2024 Fellows Award. She is the first woman to receive this award in the history of the Genetics Department, following Jim Crow, Sean Carroll, and Bill Dove.

Dr. Ahna Skop

The award is granted to Wisconsinites with high levels of accomplishment in their fields who have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to intellectual discourse and public service. Since 1982, the Wisconsin Academy Fellows Award recognizes educators, researchers, mentors, artists, and civic or business leaders from across Wisconsin who have made substantial contributions to the cultural life and welfare of our state and its people. Being selected as a Fellow is the highest recognition conferred by the Wisconsin Academy.

Dr. Skop is an internationally known geneticist and cell biologist, artist, author, and a vigorous ambassador for women in science. Her lab studies how cells divide and communicate, knowing that failures in this process can lead to cancer, microcephaly, and neurodegenerative disease, focusing 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.

In addition to Dr. Skop, the 2024 Class of Fellows includes activist and educator Dr. Howard Fuller; artist, writer, and curator Michelle Grabner; journalist and producer Steve Paulson; artist and educator Faisal Abdu’Allah; poet, novelist, and playwright Amy Quan Barry; writer, artist, and activist Anne Basting; geographer, inventor, and professor Dr. Brady Foust; hydrogeologist and mentor Dr. Kenneth Bradbury; transplant surgery educator, activist, and provider Dr. Anthony D’Alessandro; Haudenosaunee beader and educator Karen Ann Hoffman; Ho-Chunk leader, Judge JoAnn F. Jones; geographer and writer Dr. Mrill Ingram; playwright, actor, and director Marie Kohler; interviewer and media personality Anne Strainchamps; and nonprofit leader and environmental advocate David Ullrich.