Dr. Eva Harris is a Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Director of the Center for Global Public Health in the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley. She has developed a multidisciplinary approach to study the molecular virology, pathogenesis, immunology, epidemiology, diagnostics, clinical aspects and control of dengue, Zika and chikungunya, the most prevalent mosquito-borne viral diseases in humans. Her work addresses immune correlates of protection and pathogenesis, viral and host factors that modulate disease severity, and virus replication and evolution, using in vitro approaches, animal models, and research involving human populations. One major focus is on studies of arboviral disease in humans, including antibody and B cell responses and correlates of protection, systems immunology profiling of the innate response, diagnostics and seroprevalence studies, and viral evolution, fitness, and intrahost diversity. Another focus is viral pathogenesis, specifically the role of flavivirus NS1 protein in endothelial permeability, vascular leak, and viral dissemination.
Her international work includes laboratory-based and epidemiological studies of dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and influenza in endemic Latin American countries, particularly in Nicaragua through a close collaboration with the Ministry of Health for over 30 years. Ongoing long-term projects in Nicaragua include clinical and biological studies of severe arboviral disease, a pediatric cohort study and household transmission studies of dengue, Zika, chikungunya, and influenza in Managua, and a recently-concluded cluster-randomized controlled trial of evidence-based, community-derived interventions for prevention of dengue via control of its mosquito vector. Dr. Harris has published over 280 peer-reviewed articles, as well as a book on her international scientific work. In 1997, she received a MacArthur Award for work over the previous ten years developing programs to build scientific capacity in developing countries to address public health and infectious disease issues. This enabled her to found a non-profit organization in 1998, Sustainable Sciences Institute (SSI; www.sustainablesciences.org), with offices in San Francisco and Nicaragua to continue and expand this work worldwide. Dr. Harris was named a Pew Scholar for her work on dengue pathogenesis. She received a national recognition award from the Minister of Health of Nicaragua for her contribution to scientific development and was selected as a “Global Leader for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum.
In 2012, she was elected Councilor and in 2018 was appointed a Fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; she also received a Global Citizen Award from the United Nations Association. In 2019, she received the Beijerinck Virology Prize from the Royal Netherlands Society of Arts and Sciences. She currently serves on the Scientific Council of the Institut Pasteur, the Advisory Board of the Pew Latin American Fellows Program, and the Forum on Microbial Threats of the National Academy of Sciences.