Kelly Dawe
Distinguished Research Professor
Life Sciences, Rm B414A
Phone Number:  706-542-1658
Office/Lab:  Life Sciences, Rm B412
Phone Number: 

Ph.D. Genetics, U.C Berkeley 1989

M.S. Botany, Univ. of California, Riverside 1985

B.S. Landscape Horticulture, Colorado State University 1983

Research Projects: 

The Dawe lab studies genome structure and cell division in maize, focusing on the biology of centromeres.  Students and postdocs work at all levels of genetics, including traditional genetics, cytogenetics, molecular genetics, epigenetics and bioinformatics. We also work intensively with microscopes to visualize cell division using fixed and live-cell imaging methods. Current projects involve developing synthetic centromeres, on manipulating centromeres as a means create haploids, and on the special properties of maize abnormal chromosome 10 in converting heterochromatic knobs to “neocentromeres” that actively move on the spindle and skew Mendelian inheritance. Prospective students interested in research that involves a combination of field work, lab work, sequence analysis, and cell biology are encouraged to apply.

High-resolution microscopy, anti-kinetochore antisera, and maize cytology/genetics will continue to be major assets in our work.

Grant Support: 
  • NSF “Functional Genomics of Maize Centromeres” Dawe (PI) 08/15/2015-08/14/2020 Total award size: $4,616,241
  • NSF “Mechanism of neocentromere motility and meiotic drive in maize” Dawe (PI) 09/01/2014-08/31/2017: $630,000
Of Note: 
  • Creative Research Medal
  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Recent Publications: