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James E. Haar Distinguished Professor of Sociology

Areas of Interest:

Social Inequality and Health, Life Course, Biodemography, Social Science Genomics


Ph.D University of Pennsylvania, 1988

Professional Background:

Dr. Harris served as Director and Principal Investigator of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) from 2004-2021 (deputy director 1999-2004). She transformed Add Health into a landmark study, funded by 23 NIH institutes and agencies, in which she integrated biological and genomic data with social and behavioral data for the scientific study of developmental and health trajectories across the early life course. Dr. Harris works with an interdisciplinary set of scholars from sociology, epidemiology, nutrition, economics, cardiology, genetics, and survey methods to publish research on such topics as the health effects of despair, isolation and stress; social genetic effects; health costs of upward mobility; early life origins of biological aging; and the obesity epidemic and young adult health. She was awarded the Golden Goose Award from the US Congress for major breakthroughs in medicine, social behavior, and technological research. Dr. Harris is past president of the Population Association of America, past president of the Interdisciplinary Association of Population Health Science, and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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Office: 201 Hamilton Hall
919-962-6158 (phone)