Harris Lewin

Vice Chan Research


Evolution and Ecology
UC Davis Genome Center

Offices and Labs

540 Mrak Hall, Davis, CA 95616

Profile Introduction

Harris Lewin is Vice Chancellor for Research, Professor of Evolution and Ecology and Robert and Rosabel Osborne Endowed Chair at the University of California, Davis. Prior to his appointment at UC Davis, Lewin spent 27 years at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, where he was the E.W. and J.M. Gutgsell Endowed Professor of Immunogenetics, with a primary appointment in the Department of Animal Sciences and a member of the Center for Advanced Study. Lewin served as Director of the University of Illinois Biotechnology Center, Founding Director of the W. M. Keck Center for Comparative and Functional Genomics, and Founding Director of the Institute for Genomic Biology.


1984 PhD Immunology UC Davis
1981 MS Animal Breeding and Genetics Cornell University
1979 BS Animal Science Cornell University

Research Contribution

Professor Lewin’s research led to the identification of a gene responsible for resistance and susceptibility to bovine leukemia virus infection, the development of high-density comparative maps for mammalian genomes, and co-discovery of a gene affecting milk fat composition. In addition, his group produced the first large-scale cattle cDNA and oligo microarrays, which he and his collaborators have used to study the genomic effects of nuclear transfer cloning, the development and involution of the mammary gland, and the dietary effects on gene expression during the periparturient period.

Research Interests

Mammalian comparative and functional genomics

Professor Lewin and his team are studying how mammalian genomes evolve and the role of chromosome rearrangements in adaptation, speciation and the origins of cancer.


In 2004, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and in 2007 he was elected as a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry. In 2011 Lewin was awarded the Wolf Prize in Agriculture. In 2013 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.