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Dr. Nunnari is a Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, College of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Davis. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, a member of the American Society for Cell Biology, and has served as its president and the first woman to serve as Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Cell Biology.
Jodi Nunnari is a pioneer in the field of mitochondrial biology. She was the first to describe the organelle as a dynamic network in homeostatic balance and decipher the mechanisms of the machines responsible for mitochondrial division and fusion, which are critical determinants of overall mitochondrial shape and distribution. Mitochondria are double membrane-bounded organelles that perform a myriad of diverse and essential functions in cells, dependent on the collective behavior of the organelle. Dr. Nunnari’s laboratory has uncovered contact sites that intimately link mitochondria with the ER and described their roles in mitochondrial positioning and dynamics and mtDNA segregation. They have addressed how mitochondrial membranes are sub-compartmentalized to reveal how the complex internal architecture of the organelle is generated. They are using system-based approaches to address how mitochondrial behavior is physiologically regulated within cells and organisms to shed light onto how mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to human disease.