Areas of Study
Email Address
Taylor Science Center 2083

Natalie Nannas investigates how genetic information, packaged into chromosomes, is properly segregated when cells divide in meiosis, the specialized division that creates egg and sperm. Her research focuses on how the spindle machinery is assembled, how chromosomes are properly attached via kinetochores, and how this process is safeguarded as errors can lead to miscarriage, infertility, and genetics disorders. She has published articles in Genetics, PLoS Genetics, Molecular Biology of the Cell, Journal of Cell Science, Plant Cell, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Frontiers in Plant Science and Current Protocols in Plant Biology. She is the recipient of multiple grants from the National Science Foundation. Nannas earned a master's and doctorate from Harvard University in molecular biology and genetics. After her graduate work, she was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Plant Genomics at the University of Georgia, studying mechanisms of meiotic chromosome segregation.

Recent Courses Taught

Explorations in Biology- Genetic Engineering
Genes and Genomes
Genetic Medicine
Molecular Genetics
Senior Thesis I and II

Select Publications

  • McVey, S.L, Cosby, J.K. and Nannas, N.J. 2021. Aurora B Tension Sensing Mechanisms in the Kinetochore Ensure Accurate Chromosome Segregation. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22 (8818): 1-19.
  • Nannas, N.J. 2020. Flickering Lights in the Darkness: How Microscopy Shaped My Scientific Path. Journal of Stories in Science. ISSN# 2575-5129.
  • Liu, J. Nannas N.J., Shi, J., Aspinwall, B. and Dawe R.K. 2019. Sequence shattering and chromothripsis-like genome rearrangements following biolistic transformation in rice and maize. Plant Cell, 31(2): 368-383.
  • Gent, J. Nannas, N.J., Liu, U., Su, H., Zhao, H., Dawe, R.K., Jiang, J., Han, F. and Birchler J.A. “Genomics of Maize Centromeres.” The Maize Genome. Ed. Jeffrey Bennetzen. 2018. Springer Publishing Group.
  • Nannas N.J., Higgins D.M. and Dawe R.K. 2016. Anaphase asymmetry and dynamic repositioning of the division plane during maize meiosis. Journal of Cell Science.
  • Higgins D.M., Nannas N.J. and Dawe R.K. 2016. The maize Divergent spindle-1 (dv1) gene encodes a kinesin-14A motor protein required for meiotic spindle pole organization. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7:1277.
  • Nannas N.J. and Dawe R.K. 2015. Genetic and genomic toolbox of Zea mays. Genetics, 199(3): 655-69. PMID: 25740912.
  • Nannas N.J., O'Toole E.T., Winey M. and Murray A.W. 2014. Chromosomal attachments set length and microtubule number in the S.cerevisiae mitotic spindle. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 25(25): 4034-48.
  • Nannas N.J. and Murray A.W. 2014. Tethering sister chromatids to each other suggests that the spindle checkpoint responds to stretch within the kinetochore. PLoS Genetics, 10(8): e1004492, PMID: 25101645.

Professional Experience

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
American Society for Cell Biologists 
American Society for Plant Biologists 
American Association for the Advancement of Science 
Phi Beta Kappa 

Appointed to the Faculty


Educational Background

Ph.D., Harvard University
M.A., Harvard University
B.A., Grinnell College


Investigation of force, kinetochore, and tension in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitotic spindle

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