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Jodi Nunnari


Molecular & Cellular Biology

0214A Briggs Hall


1989 PhD Vanderbilt University Pharmacology
1984 BA College of Wooster, Ohio Chemistry

Research Contribution to Society:

Mitochondria are endosymbiotic organelles that perform a myriad of diverse and essential functions in cells. These functions are dependent on the collective intracellular behavior of the organelle. Our work addresses the physiological functions and mechanisms of mitochondrial behaviors, including division and fusion, which are important determinants of overall mitochondrial shape and distribution. We have uncovered contact sites that intimately link mitochondria with the ER and are determining their roles in mitochondrial dynamics, positioning and mitochondrial genome transmission, as well as in interorganellar communication and cellular homeostasis. We are also addressing the fundamental question of how mitochondrial membranes are sub-compartmentalized to reveal mechanisms required to generate the complex internal architecture of the organelle. Ultimately, we want to understand on a systems level how mitochondrial behaviors are integrated with one another and physiologically regulated within cells and organisms.

Research Interests:

My laboratory is interested in the mechanisms that govern the behavior of mitochondria in cells.


Chancellor's Fellow
Phi Beta Kappa
Keith R. Porter Fellow
UC Davis Faculty Research Lecture Award

Department and Center Affiliations:

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Professional Societies:

The American Society for Cell Biology
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

CBS Graduate Group Affiliations:

Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology  

Specialties / Focus:

Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Cell Biology
Metabolism and Molecular Physiology
Molecular Medicine
Organelle and Cytoskeleton Dynamics
Signal Transduction and Gene Regulation
Structural and Mechanistic Biochemistry


Last updated 8/19/2013
Hoppins S and Nunnari J. (2012) Mitochondrial dynamics and apoptosis--the ER connection. Science. 337:1052-4

Lackner LL, Ping H, Graef M, Murley A, Nunnari J. (2013) Endoplasmic reticulum-associated mitochondria-cortex tether functions in the distribution and inheritance of mitochondria. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 110:E458-67.

Murley A, Lackner LL, Osman C, West M, Voeltz GK, Walter P, Nunnari J. (2013) ER-associated mitochondrial division links the distribution of mitochondria and mitochondrial DNA in yeast. eLife May 14

Meeusen, S., McCaffrey, J.M., and Nunnari, J. (2004) Mitochondrial fusion intermediates revealed in vitro. Science, 305:1747-52

Ingerman E, Perkins EM, Marino M, Mears JA, McCaffery JM, Hinshaw JE, Nunnari J. Dnm1 forms spirals that are structurally tailored to fit mitochondria. J Cell Biol. 2005 Sep 26;170(7):1021-7.

Meeusen S, DeVay R, Block J, Cassidy-Stone A, Wayson S, McCaffery JM, Nunnari J. Mitochondrial inner-membrane fusion and crista maintenance requires the dynamin-related GTPase Mgm1. Cell. 2006 Oct 20;127(2):383-95.

Hoppins, S., Lackner, L. and Nunnari, J. 2007 The machines that fuse and divide mitochondria. Annual Review of Biochemistry, 76: 751-80.

Cassidy-Stone, A., Chipuk, J.E., Ingerman, E., Song, C., Yoo, C., Kuwana, T., Kurth, M.J., Shaw. J., Hinshaw. J.E., Green, D.R., and Nunnari, J. 2008 Chemical inhibition of the mitochondrial division dynamin reveals its role in Bax/Bak dependent mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization. Developmental Cell, 14:193-204.

Kornmann B, Currie E, Collins SR, Schuldiner M, Nunnari J, Weissman JS, Walter P. (2009) An ER-mitochondria tethering complex revealed by a synthetic biology screen. Science 325:477-81.

Lacker, LL, Horner, J and Nunnari, J. (2009) Mechanistic analysis of a dynamin effector, Science, 325(5942):874-7.

Hoppins, S, Edlich, F., Cleland, M. Banerjee, S., McCaffery, J.M., Youle, R. and Nunnari J. (2011) The soluble form of Bax regulates fusion via MFN2 homotypic complexes. Molecular Cell, 41:150-60.

Graef M. and Nunnari J. (2011)Mitochondria regulate autophagy by conserved signaling pathways. EMBO J. 30 2101-14

Friedman J.R., Lackner L.L., West M., DiBenedetto J.R., Nunnari J. and Voeltz, G. (2011) ER tubules mark sites of mitochondrial division. Science 334(6054) 358-62

Ford M.G.J., Jenni S. and Nunnari J. (2011) The crystal structure of dynamin. Nature 477 561-6

Hoppins S., Collins S.R., Cassidy-Stone A., Hummel E., DeVay R.M., Lackner L.L., Westermann B., Schuldiner M., Weissman J.S. and Nunnari J. (2011) A mitochondrial-focused genetic interaction map reveals a scaffold-like complex required for inner membrane organization in mitochondria. J. Cell Biol. 195(2) 323-40

Nunnari J. and Suomalainen A. (2012) Mitochondria: in sickness and in health. Cell 148 1145-59

Teaching Interests:

Cell Biology, biochemistry, and genetics.


MCB 140L Cell Biology Laboratory Course
MCB 120L Biochemistry Laboratory