Dr. Harris completed a B.S. in chemistry at Iowa State University in 1962, a M.S. in biochemistry in 1964 and a Ph.D. in 1965 from Purdue University. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow, National Multiple Sclerosis Society from 1966-1968 and Assistant Research Professor, Institute for Enzyme Research, University of Wisconsin, Madison from 1968-1969. In 1970 he was appointed Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Indiana University School of Medicine. He was appointed chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 1988. He stepped down from the chair and returned to full time research and teaching in 2004.
Dr. Harris has held visiting appointments at Metabolic Research laboratory, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, 1973-74; Laboratory of Metabolism, National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Rockville, Maryland, 1980; Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Nagoya, Japan, 1983; Florida A & M University, Tallahassee, 1983; and Dillard University, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1986.
His many honors include the Carrie Wolf Award, Indiana Affiliate, American Heart Association, 1974, 1976; Young Investigator Award, Indiana Diabetes Association, 1977; Distinguished Teaching Award (AMOCO) from Indiana University, 1981; Outstanding Professor in Basic Sciences, chosen by the Medical Class, 1981-1990, 1997-2001, 2004; Edward C. Moore Award for Outstanding Teaching at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, 1985; Research Recognition Medal from University of Nagoya, School of Medicine, Japan, 1989; Outstanding Biochemistry Graduate Student Mentor, 2001; Distinguished Professor, 2001; Glenn W. Irwin Jr. Award for Distinguished Faculty Service, 2003; Sagamore of the Wabash, 2004. Dr.
Harris is a member of numerous professional societies including Phi Eta Sigma; Phi Kappa Phi; American Society of Biological Chemists; American Oil Chemists' Society; Biochemical Society; American Heart Association; American Diabetes Association; American Institute of Nutrition; and Sigma Xi. He has served on editorial boards of journals in his field and many university committees.