Ahna Skop receives Presidential Early Career Award

Geneticist Ahna Skop was one of two of the UW-Madison’s faculty members to receive the highest national honor bestowed upon scientists in the early stages of their careers. The Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) recognize top junior researchers who have demonstrated exceptional potential and leadership at the frontiers of science.

103bc2a2.jpgSkop, is an assistant professor of genetics and medical genetics in the CALS and the School of Medicine and Public Health. In the photo to the right (click to enlarge) she is fourth from the right in the second row.

Also winning the award was Sterling Johnson, an associate professor of medicine at the School of Medicine and Public Health and William S. Middleton Veterans Administration Hospital. They received their awards in a White House ceremony on Nov. 1.

Skop, nominated for the award by the National Science Foundation, was selected for her innovative research into the molecular mechanisms involved in cell division and for identifying links between the ways in which animal and plant cells divide. She was also recognized for her teaching and educational activities, including mentoring Native American students.

Johnson, nominated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, was chosen in recognition of his work on neural disorders related to aging and brain damage. Using brain imaging techniques, he studies patient recovery from traumatic brain injuries and is working toward early identification of Alzheimer’s disease prior to the onset of irreversible damage.

Skop and Johnson are among 58 researchers nationwide selected by nine federal departments and agencies to receive the 2006 PECASE awards. Each researcher will receive up to five years of research support from the nominating agency.