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Kathleen Harris

Kathleen Harris (photo by Donn Young)

Sociologist Kathleen Mullan Harris, James E. Haar Distinguished Professor, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors that a U.S. scientist or engineer can receive.

Harris, based in the College and the Carolina Population Center, is the director and principal investigator of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, or Add Health. The longitudinal study follows more than 20,000 teenagers into young adulthood. With Add Health data, Harris studies health disparities, the acculturation of immigrant youth and the family formation behavior of young adults.

Under Harris’ pioneering leadership, the next wave of Add Health is expanding its data collection to bridge biological and social sciences in the study of developmental and health trajectories from adolescence into young adulthood. Harris is leading the Add Health project team with cardiologists, geneticists, sociologists, epidemiologists, nutritionists, economists and research methodologists.

Harris’ work and her wide-ranging experience in running large data collection projects have made her an internationally recognized expert on social inequality and health.

The Add Health project recently received a $28 million grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Read a story on Kathleen Harris’ work in spring ’14 Carolina Arts & Sciences magazine.

Read more about her election to the National Academy of Sciences.

Published in the Fall 2014 issue | The Scoop

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