Mary Harris

Inclusive Leadership Learning Cohort Speaker

Dr. Mary S. Harris is an accomplished scientist, business-woman, and consumer health advocate. She is founder, president and CEO of BioTechnical Communications, which specializes in the production and dissemination of health information targeted to ethnic minorities.

Dr. Harris received her undergraduate degree in biology from Lincoln University (Pennsylvania), her Ph.D. in molecular genetics from Cornell University, followed by postdoctoral training in molecular virology at Rutgers Medical School in Piscataway, NJ.

With over 25 years of professional experience in the areas of healthcare research, Dr. Harris has devoted most of her professional career in the application and transfer of basic research to the healthcare field. Her professional experience includes graduate and medical school teaching, the published author of articles in scientific and consumer publications; a senior public health administrator; membership on the National Institutes of Health grant review committees; executive consultant with private research laboratories; television producer; radio producer and host of a nationally syndicated consumer health radio program.

Dr. Harris has a longstanding interest in consumer preventive health care and public health, including an emphasis on health disparities. Her involvement in consumer health care includes: director of a statewide genetics screening program; member national committee to develop guidelines for the implementation of newborn screening for sickle cell disease; board member of the Atlanta Chapter of the March of Dimes to help address the issue of the high incidence of mortality among African-American infants; volunteer work with low-income African-American teenage girls to help reduce teenage pregnancy; Advisory board member for the Centers for Disease Control; Advisory board member for Grady Memorial Hospital; board member of the National Caucus and Council of Black Aged. She was recently invited to serve as the consumer representative on Georgia’s Drug Utilization Review Board. Dr. Harris’ current public health work is focused on improving cancer screening management for patients that receive care in community health centers and improving minority participation in clinical trials.

In 1987, Dr. Harris founded BioTechnical Communications, Inc., a health communications company. BioTechnical Communications has been awarded over a dozen highly competitive Small Business Innovation Research grants by the prestigious National Institutes of Health. Based upon research supported by these grants, BioTechnical Communications has created innovative, consumer oriented media programming, including: “To My Sisters. A Gift for Life,” an award-winning documentary about breast cancer and AfricanAmerican women; Journey To Wellness, the only nationally syndicated radio program on public radio focusing on health care issues of importance to African-Americans; a series of four documentaries for broadcast on public radio focusing on cancer, obesity, HIV/AIDS; and the nationally syndicated health-care serial, “Keeping Up with the Walkers”.

Dr. Harris has received numerous awards and honors for her work in public health, consumer health advocacy, and for her innovations in consumer healthcare programming in radio and television. Dr. Harris has leveraged her experience and contacts to launch GrantArtisans™ a personalized scientific communications service targeting university faculty and technology-based small businesses. The company specializes in using a client-centered process that carefully matches the scientific specialty of its Subject Matter Experts with the scientific content of the client’s research. Services include programmatic research and evaluation, “on demand” pre-submission grant and manuscript reviews, scientific writing and grant development strategies.