David T. Harris, PhD

Executive Director, AHSC Biorepository
Professor, Immunobiology
Professor, BIO5 Institute
Professor, Medicine
Professor, Applied BioSciences - GIDP
Additional Contact Info: 
Fax: (520) 621-6703
  • Wake Forest University, 1982 (Ph.D.)
Honors and Awards: 
Cord Blood Registry was formed in 1995, and employs technology pioneered by Dr. David Harris, a University of Arizona professor in the department of microbiology and immunology. His original research was partly funded by the American Cancer Society. Dr. Harris was the first to preserve his child's cord blood stem cells for future use and he is currently Scientific Director for Cord Blood Registry.
Dr. Harris is a co-inventor with Dr. Witten on the substance P patents and also holds three additional U.S. patents. In addition, Dr. Harris involved with co-inventor Dr. Tom C. Tsang on Genetic Tools, a Tucson-based biotechnology company providing gene-based treatments for cancer and other diseases to the molecular biology/gene therapy research community, based on intellectual property derived form Dr. Harris’ laboratory. Drs. Harris and Tsang are co-inventors of the intellectual property.
Major Areas of Research Interest: 

Dr. Harris's career has been spent in the area of basic and applied cellular immunology. He is very knowledgeable of infectious disease and the analysis of immune competence in humans and animals, as well as natural killer (cytotoxic) cells, cellular regulation, cell surface interactions, cell and tissue culturing, flow cytometry, and antibody & hybridoma production. Dr. Harris has done research in the areas of nucleic acids, RNA, DNA sequencing & synthesis, genetic manipulation, gene regulation, and protein synthesis. He is experienced with cloning techniques, and is also knowledgeable of molecular biology and biotechnology . He has worked with both animal and human models and has been involved all aspects of his field (i.e. CTL, NK, Ab). He has experience in applying and developing immunoassays and has a good understanding of cell and tissue culture, mAb production, flow cytometry, hybridoma, and ELISA.

Dr. Harris's four years of work with the EPA has taught him how to apply his experience towards biomarkers in many different areas of health research. He continues to do research in environmental monitoring and studies the effects of environmental pollutants on biological systems with emphasis on the immune system as a sensitivity indicator.

Dr. Harris has spent the past six years of his research focusing on studies in clinical immunology and hematology. Specifically, his research involves transplantation and developmental immunology. He also has experience in tumor immunology and models of metastasis. Holder of five patents, Dr. Harris has applied a variety of different immunological and molecular biology techniques in his work.

Student Opportunities Through Research: 
  • Hands-on molecular biology experiences
  • Gene therapy in various animal models
Selected Publications: 

Pipes BL, Tsang T, Peng SX, Fiederlein R, Graham M, Harris DT. Telomere length changes after umbilical cord blood transplant. Transfusion. 46(6):1038-43, 2006.

He X, Tsang TC, Pipes BL, Ablin RJ, Harris DT. A stem cell fusion model of carcinogenesis. J Exp Ther Oncol. 5(2):101-9, 2005.

Luo P, Tsang TC, He X, Gonzalez-Pena V, Jaramillo M, Takeuchi C, Harris DT. Novel amplifier expression vectors producing higher levels of IL-2 led to slower tumor growth and longer survival in vivo. DNA Cell Biol. 24(9):595-604, 2005.

He X, Gonzalez V, Tsang A, Thompson J, Tsang TC, Harris DT. Differential gene expression profiling of CD34+ CD133+ umbilical cord blood hematopoietic stem progenitor cells. Stem Cells Dev. 14(2):188-98, 2005.

He X, Tsang TC, Zhang T, Luo P, Harris DT. Antigen epitope-expressing cytokines for DNA immunization. Vaccine. 14;23(16):1966-72, 2005.

He X, Luo P, Tsang TC, Zhang T, Harris DT. Immuno-gene therapy of melanoma by tumor antigen epitope modified IFN-gamma. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 54(8):741-9, 2005.

NIH High School Student Research Program: 
Samantha Sepulveda, 2014, San Luis High School
Tuesday, March 6, 2018