Dr. Harris was the Austin L. Vickery Professor of Pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Medical School, and Editor of the Case Records of the Massachusetts General Hospital for the New England Journal of Medicine. She retired from her professional responsibilities in late 2019. The Foundation thanks Dr. Harris for her numerous contributions to the pathological review of the BL cases in the BLGSP.
Dr. Harris obtained her B.A. Degree in English from Stanford University and her M.D. from Stanford Medical School. She interned in Internal Medicine at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis and trained in Pathology at Beth Israel in Boston. After a research fellowship in Hematopathology at Massachusetts General Hospital, she joined the staff of that institution in 1980. In 1985 she became Director of Surgical Pathology and in 1992 Director of Anatomic Pathology. She also served as Program Director for the Anatomic and Clinical Pathology Residency Program and for the Hematopathology Fellowship Program. She relinquished those administrative responsibilities to become Editor of the Case Records of the Massachusetts General Hospital for the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002. She continues an active diagnostic and consultation practice in Hematopathology.
Dr. Harris’s research has focused on the relationship of lymphoid neoplasms to the normal immune system. Her studies range from investigations of the biology and pathology of Hodgkin’s lymphoma to the study of nodal and extranodal small B-cell lymphomas, including follicular, mantle cell and MALT lymphomas, to the study of large B-cell lymphomas in the mediastinum and in specific extranodal sites. Having trained in hematopathology in an age of multiple classifications of lymphomas, Dr. Harris became interested in establishing consensus in the classification of lymphoid neoplasms. Working first with the International Lymphoma Study Group and then with the World Health Organization, Dr. Harris and colleagues published the Revised European American Classification of Lymphoid Neoplasms (REAL) in 1994 and in 2001, published a WHO Classification of Tumours of the Haematopoietic and Lymphoid Tissues. The classification was updated with a 4th edition in 2008. This classification represents the first true international consensus on the classification of hematologic neoplasms, and established a paradigm for arriving at consensus among pathologists and clinicians on disease classification.