Mia Levine


Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2009

Research Interests

Chromatin proteins package our genomic DNA. Essential, highly conserved cellular processes rely on this genome compartmentalization, yet many chromatin proteins are wildly unconserved over evolutionary time. We study the biological forces that drive chromatin protein evolution and the functional consequences for chromosome segregation, telomere integrity, and genome defense.  

Courses Taught

BIOL 221 Molecular Biology and Genetics 

BIOL 433 The Genetics of Adaptation: How sex, pathogens, and the environment shape modern genomes

Selected Publications

Saint-Leandre, B., Christopher, C., and M.T. Levine (2020) Adaptive evolution of an essential telomere protein restricts telomeric retrotransposons. eLife 9:e60987.

Saint-Leandre, B. and M.T. Levine (2020) The Telomere Paradox: Stable genome preservation with rapidly evolving proteins. Trends in Genetics. 36: 232-242

Saint-Leandre, B., Nguyen, SB., and M.T. Levine (2019). Diversification and collapse of a telomere elongation mechanism. Genome Research. 29: 920-931.

Helleu, Q. and M.T. Levine (2018) Recurrent amplification of the Heterochromatin Protein 1 (HP1) gene family across Diptera. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 35: 2375-2389.

Lee, Y.C.G, and M.T. Levine (2017) Germline genome protection on an evolutionary treadmill. Developmental Cell 43:1-3. 

Lee, Y.C.G., Leek, C., and M.T. Levine (2017) Recurrent innovation at genes required for telomere integrity in Drosophila. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 34:467-482.

Levine, M.T., Vander Wende, H., Hseih, E., Baker, E., and H.S. Malik (2016) Recurrent gene duplication diversifies genome defense repertoire in Drosophila. Molecular Biology and Evolution 33:1641-1653.

Levine, M.T., Vander Wende, H., and H.S. Malik (2015) Mitotic fidelity requires transgenerational action of a testis-restricted HP1. eLife 4: e07378.

Levine, M.T., McCoy, C. Vermaak. D., Lee Y.C.G, Hiatt, M.A., Matsen, F.A., and H.S. Malik (2012) Phylogenomic analysis reveals dynamic evolutionary history of the Drosophila Heterochromatin Protein 1 (HP1) gene family.  PLoS Genetics 8(6): e1002729.



Penn Epigenetics Institute

Penn Center for Genome Integrity


CV (file)