Levi Watson, PhD
Assistant Professor, OB-GYN-Basic Repro Science

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Graduate School :
  • PhD, University of Florida (2013)
Undergraduate School:
  • BSc, University of North Florida (FL) (2006)
Languages: English
Department: OB-GYN-Basic Repro Science

Professional Titles

  • Instructor

Recognition & Awards

  • Best Faculty Poster, University of Colorado OB/GYN Research Retreat (2019)
  • Travel Award, University of Colorado Postdoctoral Association (2018)
  • Best Presentation, University of Colorado Cancer Biology Postdoc Symposium (2018)


  • Bitler BG, Bailey CA, Yamamoto TM, McMellen A, Kim H, Watson ZL. Targeting BRPF3 moderately reverses olaparib resistance in high grade serous ovarian carcinoma. Mol Carcinog. 2023 Nov;62(11):1717-1730. PubMed PMID: 37493106
  • Bapat J, Yamamoto TM, Woodruff ER, Qamar L, Mikeska RG, Aird KM, Watson ZL, Brubaker LW, Bitler BG. CASC4/GOLM2 drives high grade serous carcinoma anoikis resistance through the recycling of EGFR. Cancer Gene Ther. 2023 Nov 29. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 38030811
  • Brubaker LW, Backos DS, Nguyen VT, Reigan P, Yamamoto TM, Woodruff ER, Iwanaga R, Wempe MF, Kumar V, Persenaire C, Watson ZL, Bitler BG. Novel chromobox 2 inhibitory peptide decreases tumor progression. Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2023 Apr-May;27(4-5):361-371. PubMed PMID: 37243607
  • Corr BR, Moroney MR, Woodruff E, Watson ZL, Jordan KR, Danhorn T, Bailey C, Wolsky RJ, Bitler BG. Combination CDC-like kinase inhibition (CLK)/Dual-specificity tyrosine-regulated kinase (DYRK) and taxane therapy in CTNNB1-mutated endometrial cancer. bioRxiv. 2023 Apr 6. PubMed PMID: 37066339
  • Nguyen LL, Watson ZL, Ortega R, Woodruff ER, Jordan KR, Iwanaga R, Yamamoto TM, Bailey CA, Jeong AD, Guntupalli SR, Behbakht K, Gbaja V, Arnoult N, Chuong EB, Bitler BG. Combinatory EHMT and PARP inhibition induces an interferon response and a CD8 T cell-dependent tumor regression in PARP inhibitor-resistant models. bioRxiv. 2023 Feb 23. PubMed PMID: 36865165
  • BRPF3 knockdown or inhibition moderately reverses olaparib resistance in high grade serous ovarian carcinoma Benjamin G. Bitler, Tomomi M. Yamamoto, Alexandra McMellen, Hyunmin Kim, Zachary L. Watson doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.12.21.473688
  • Sawyer BT, Qamar L, Yamamoto TM, McMellen A, Watson ZL, Richer JK, Behbakht K, Schlaepfer IR, Bitler BG. Targeting Fatty Acid Oxidation to Promote Anoikis and Inhibit Ovarian Cancer Progression. Mol Cancer Res. 2020 Jul;18(7):1088-1098. PubMed PMID: 32198139
  • Jordan KR, Sikora MJ, Slansky JE, Minic A, Richer JK, Moroney MR, Hu J, Wolsky RJ, Watson ZL, Yamamoto TM, Costello JC, Clauset A, Behbakht K, Kumar TR, Bitler BG. The Capacity of the Ovarian Cancer Tumor Microenvironment to Integrate Inflammation Signaling Conveys a Shorter Disease-free Interval. Clin Cancer Res. 2020 Dec 1;26(23):6362-6373. PubMed PMID: 32928797
  • Eliciting OTUD3/RIPK-Dependent Necroptosis to Prevent Epithelial Ovarian Cancer, doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.29.069021
  • Yamamoto TM, McMellen A, Watson ZL, Aguilera J, Ferguson R, Nurmemmedov E, Thakar T, Moldovan GL, Kim H, Cittelly DM, Joglar AM, Brennecke EP, Wilson H, Behbakht K, Sikora MJ, Bitler BG. Activation of Wnt signaling promotes olaparib resistant ovarian cancer. Mol Carcinog. 2019 Oct;58(10):1770-1782. PubMed PMID: 31219654
  • Park PH, Yamamoto TM, Li H, Alcivar AL, Xia B, Wang Y, Bernhardy AJ, Turner KM, Kossenkov AV, Watson ZL, Behbakht K, Casadei S, Swisher EM, Mischel PS, Johnson N, Bitler BG. Amplification of the mutation-carrying BRCA2 allele promotes RAD51 loading and PARP inhibitor resistance in the absence of reversion mutations. Mol Cancer Ther. 2019 Oct 1. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31575654
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Professional Memberships

  • American Association for Cancer Research, Associate Member
  • Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, Member
  • University of Colorado Cancer Center, Affiliate Member
Personal Interests
I work in cancer research, and my training in virology and epigenetics give me a unique perspective. Both are highly relevant, especially to immune responses. I love jazz, and long ago I was a guitarist in a band. I have hiked over a dozen of the Colorado 14ers, and I try to hike a few more each summer.

General Information

Graduate Schools:
  • PhD, University of Florida (2013)
Undergraduate Schools:
  • BSc, University of North Florida (FL) (2006)
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Languages: English
Department: OB-GYN-Basic Repro Science
Contact Us
CU Anschutz
Fitzsimons Building

13001 East 17th Place
Campus Box C290
Aurora, CO 80045

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