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#IAmNYAS: Mirna Mihovilovic Skanata

The Academy community represents one of the most dynamic and diverse groups of STEM professionals and science enthusiasts and supporters around the world, with more than 16,000 Members across 100 countries.

Academy Members are building STEM careers, overcoming the challenges associated with cutting-edge research, putting science into practice, influencing policy, and supporting future generations of science leaders.

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Mirna Mihovilovic Skanata

Mirna Mihovilovic Skanata, PhD, got her degree in Physics from Brown University in Rhode Island. Originally hailing from the beautiful coastal city of Split, Croatia, she is currently based in New York City working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at New York University and is relishing in the excitement that her adopted home has to offer.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am working on understanding how neural circuits process information—you can say I am “cracking neural circuits.” The human nervous system is extremely complex, so it is paradoxically more profitable to ask these big questions using small model organisms. My research project envisions developing a specialized microscope that can image neural activity in a freely behaving fruit fly larva, “reading its mind” as it makes decisions crucial to its survival.

What is one of the biggest challenges you’re facing right now?

My research now involves developing new technologies and utilizing electronics and optics in a novel way to build a very sophisticated microscope. It is a challenge, but also a great adventure.

How do you like to keep busy when you’re not in the lab?

Since I moved to New York City, I started ice-skating at Chelsea Piers and at the Central Park Wollman Rink, I sail on the Hudson, tap-dance in the West Village, and skateboard in the many parks in the City. I have one activity for each season! I find it exciting to start from scratch and pick up a new skill.

Expand Your Network!

Inspired by the passion, expertise, and unique perspectives of your fellow Members? Tap in to the incredible network the Academy offers through our mentoring programs.

We’re thrilled to offer you access to a new opportunity to get involved and interact: Member-to-Member Mentoring. The program matches you with a mentor—or a mentee—who is a fellow STEM professional and Academy Member. Depending upon your experience level and needs, you can request a mentor, become a mentor, or both.

Interested in mentoring students? We also offer incredible mentorship opportunities through the Academy’s Global STEM Alliance, which delivers education programs that can help you develop your teaching and communication skills, while paying it forward to the next generation of scientific innovators.

Peruse our mentorship opportunities, and sign up today!


Academy Staff
This article was written by a member of the Academy staff.

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