Today, we shine the spotlight on Dr. Andrew Harris, an outstanding early-career researcher and assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University. Dr. Harris is making significant strides in the field of biomechanics and platelet formation and has recently been recognized as a 2023 Banting Discovery Awardee.
Dr. Harris earned his Ph.D. at University College London, where his research focused on characterizing the mechanical properties of single cells and simple tissues using precision tools such as Atomic Force Microscopy. After his Ph.D., he joined the University of California Berkeley as an EMBO and HFSP postdoctoral fellow, working in Professor Daniel Fletcher’s lab. He joined Carleton University’s faculty in 2021.
From right to left: Lyndsey Lafreniere, Gia Kang, Sarah Desroches, Daniel Delgado, Andrew Harris
His research interests lie in studying the mechanical properties of cells and tissues, biological polymers, and tissue engineering. Specifically, Dr. Harris investigates how changes to the organization of the actin cytoskeleton impact cellular force generation and the formation of membrane buds and proplatelets. This work aims to build a better understanding of the biomechanics of platelet formation. His unique blend of expertise in physics, engineering, and cell biology has the potential to contribute to new approaches for generating platelets outside of the body and understanding platelet disorders more broadly.
Adding to his academic prowess, Dr. Harris has authored or co-authored 20 papers in high-impact journals such as Nature and Cell. His scholarly contributions have already made a significant impact in the field.
Furthermore, Dr. Harris is also deeply invested in training the next generation of researchers. He currently supervises a team that includes a Ph.D., MASc, and three undergraduate students. His commitment to their success extends beyond individual mentoring, as he has developed a mentorship plan with senior faculty members to ensure the success of his research program.
As a recipient of the Banting Discovery Award, Dr. Harris is recognized for his exceptional potential to make significant contributions to his field. This award, bestowed by the Banting Research Foundation, is given to Canadian early-career researchers in health and biomedical sciences following a rigorous peer-review process.
Congratulations to Dr. Andrew Harris on his achievements and recognition as a Banting Discovery Awardee! We look forward to seeing the groundbreaking contributions he will make in the future.
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