Dr. William Harris '44 Named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

Thursday, January 21, 2021
Bill Harris '44

Announced on December 8, 2020, Bill Harris '44 will be inducted into the National Academy of Inventors. The NAI Fellows Program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have had a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.

Dr. Harris is an orthopedic surgeon and founder and director emeritus of the Massachusetts General Research Hospital Harris Orthopaedics Laboratory. Harris is recognized for holding numerous U.S. patents related to total hip replacement surgery. He's credited with performing the world's first successful total hip replacement in a patient with a total congenital dislocation of the hip. Harris is also known for developing the "Harris Hip Score," which rates a patient's progress on pain and function following surgery. His work inspired surgical techniques, implant design, development of new operations, prevention of blood clot formation, and other leading advances in hip surgery.

Harris is a founding member of The Hip Society of North America and served as the organization's first president. He went on to be a founding member and president of the International Hip Society. The Hip Society granted Harris a record 10 honorary awards for outstanding contributions to hip surgery, and he has twice won the Kappa Delta Award of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons for outstanding orthopedic research. Harris is the author of some 520 scientific publications and three textbooks dealing with hip surgery, arthritis, and diseases of the skeleton. He's also the author of "Vanishing Bone: Conquering a Stealth Disease Caused by Total Hip Replacements,” published in 2017.

Election to NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors. To date, NAI Fellows hold more than 42,700 issued U.S. patents, which have generated more than 13,000 licensed technologies and companies, and created more than 36 million jobs. In addition, $2.2 trillion in revenue has been generated based on NAI Fellow discoveries.

The 2020 Fellow class represents 115 research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes worldwide. They collectively hold more than 4,700 issued U.S. patents. Among the 2020 Fellows are 24 recipients of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, six recipients of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and two Nobel Laureates, as well as other honors and distinctions. Their collective body of research covers a range of scientific disciplines, including biomedical engineering, computer engineering, materials science, and physics.