Rebecca is the daughter of poet, novelist and essayist Floyd Skloot. She received a BS in biological sciences and an MFA in creative nonfiction. She is a former vice president of the National Book Critics Circle. She is faculty member at the yearly Mid-Atlantic Summer Creative Nonfiction Writers Conference and has taught creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Memphis.
Skloot has published over 200 featured stories and essays. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Oprah Magazine, Discover, and New York magazine. Skloot is also a contributing editor at Popular Science and has worked as a correspondent for NPR's Radiolab and PBS's NOVA scienceNOW.
Her first book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010), is about Henrietta Lacks and the immortal cell line (known as HeLa) that came from her cancer cells.