Mirna Mihovilovic Skanata

Ph.D. ’14


Mirna received her B.Sc. from the University of Zagreb. Her graduate work in experimental physics at Brown University straddled the border between biophysics and nanotechnology. In Derek Stein’s lab she created solid state nanopores, artificial nanometer-scale ionic channels that can thread long DNA polymers. These single-molecule detectors helped address fundamental questions of polymer physics and inspired technological applications. Following her PhD, Mirna joined Marc Gershow’s lab at New York University, where she has developed a two-photon microscope that enabled her to image neural activity with single-cell resolution in a freely moving model organism. By reading out the activity while the animal receives stimulus and makes decisions, Mirna aims to achieve a circuit-wide understanding of how a tiny brain of a fruit fly larva implements complex computations. Mirna joined Syracuse University in the Fall of 2021 as an Assistant Professor and she is looking forward to tackling questions at the interface of physics and life in her new lab.