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Robert A. Harris Chair

During a long stint as chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and as course director for introductory biochemistry, Robert A. Harris, Ph.D., helped thousands of students through medical school and served as a role model to others pursuing a career as a basic science researcher.

To legions of students, “Hurricane Harris” will forever be remembered for ferociously scribbling key steps in metabolic pathways on an overhead projector (long after others had moved on to PowerPoint) and for infusing his lectures with quirky humor—all while gripping his signature coffee mug. Mostly, though, he will be remembered as one of most respected and effective instructors at the School of Medicine.

His passion for educating also extended to his laboratory, where he guided aspiring scientists. Of course, Professor Harris isn’t just a teacher. His contributions to biochemistry are internationally recognized, and he has contributed significantly to the understanding of diseases such as diabetes and obesity.

Former students and colleagues are working to ensure Robert Harris’ name lives on at the School of Medicine through the establishment of the Robert A. Harris Chair, to be held by the chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Gifts are being sought from those who wish to honor this exceptional educator. Funds will be invested in perpetuity, and proceeds will support the holder’s scholarly activities.

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