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Dr. William Harris

William Harris, PhD
Senior Scientist and Director of the Metabolism and Nutrition Research Center
Sanford School of Medicine
University of South Dakota

Dr. Harris is a senior scientist at the Sanford Research/USD, where he is leading the development of the Metabolism and Nutrition Research Center. He is a Professor of Medicine at the Sanford School of Medicine of USD and co-director of the MD/PhD Program. Between 1985 and 1996, Dr. Harris was the Director of the Lipid Research Laboratory at the Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City. In 1996 he moved to the University of Missouri-Kansas City as a Professor of Medicine and held the Daniel J. Lauer / Missouri Chair in Lipid Metabolism. He also served as the Co-director of the Lipid and Diabetes Research Center at the Mid America Heart Center of Saint Luke's Hospital in Kansas City.

Over the last 25 years, Dr. Harris's research has focused primarily on fish oils (omega-3 fatty acids) and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Harris has been the Principal Investigator on three NIH grants focusing on omega-3 fatty acids and human lipid metabolism. His current project is examining the effects of niacin and omega-3 fatty acids, separately and in combination, on lipid and glucose metabolism in patients with the metabolic syndrome. He has also been examining the potential of a blood test he developed to measure omega-3 fatty acid levels as a new risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In collaboration with his new colleagues at the Cardiovascular Research Center, he will be expanding his research program to include studies of the cellular and biochemical mechanisms by which omega-3 fatty acids allow the heart to resist ischemic stress. He has over 120 publications.