Dr. Harris received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from Auburn University in 1963, his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Texas in Austin in 1969, and he was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University from 1969 through 1970. He was Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of Alabama in Huntsville before founding Shearwater Polymers, Inc. in 1992 to advance polyethylene glycol “PEG” technology. Shearwater successfully created, manufactured and partnered polyethylene glycol technology that enabled over 10 drug products such as Neulasta® (Amgen) and Pegasys® (Roche) with cumulative sales of greater than $100 billion.
Shearwater was sold to Inhale Therapeutic Systems (now Nektar Therapeutics, Inc.) in 2001. Dr. Harris has over 200 publications and 75 patents and has authored two key textbooks: Poly(ethylene glycol) Chemistry, Biotechnical and Biomedical Applications, Plenum Press, 1992; and Poly(ethylene glycol) Chemistry and Biological Applications, American Chemical Society, 1997. Dr. Harris is the recipient of the Nagai Innovation Award (2005, Controlled Release Society) and a member of the Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.