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Harold E. Harrison

Harold E. Harrison


Harrison, a pediatrician-in-chief of Baltimore City Hospitals, was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He received a B.S. in 1928 and an M.D. in 1931 from Yale University. After pediatric residency training at Yale, Harrison began his research career in calcium and phosphorus metabolism. At Yale, he met Helen Coplan, a Ph.D. student in physiological chemistry; their subsequent marriage in 1936 began a lifelong collaboration in the research of mineral metabolism, vitamin D metabolism, the treatment of rickets, and the introduction of oral rehydration therapy in children.

In 1938, the Harrisons moved to Cornell University to establish their own research laboratory. The Harrisons received the E. Mead Johnson Award in 1942 for their pediatric research studies. Returning to Yale in 1942, Harold Harrison worked on top secret studies of metal poisons and translated some of this work to a 1956 study of lead poisoning in children with J.J. Chisolm.

In 1945, Edwards Park recruited the Harrisons to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where Harold was appointed associate professor of pediatrics and pediatrician-in-chief of Baltimore City Hospitals, the first full-time clinical chief of that institution. He developed a pediatric training and clinical program at the Baltimore City Hospitals as well as a research laboratory at the Harriet Lane Hospital on The Johns Hopkins Hospital campus to continue his collaborative research with his wife. Harrison was promoted to professor of pediatrics in 1965, and professor emeritus in 1975.

From 1945 until 1989, the Harrisons individually and collectively published over 175 papers and one textbook covering topics related to the physiology of calcium and phosphorous, parathyroid hormone and bone, vitamin D, renal and intestinal transport, nutrition, rickets, and lead poisoning.

Harrison received the Borden Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1961, and the American College of Nutrition Award in 1980. Helen and Harold Harrison were the recipients of the 1983 Howland Award from the American Pediatric Society.

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