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Mary Styles Harris
*Mary Styles Harris was born on this date in 1949. She is a Black Biologist and Geneticist.
Mary Styles was born in Nashville, Tennessee to George and Margaret Styles, while her father was earning his medical degree from the city's Meharry Medical College. Her mother, Margaret, earned a degree in business administration at Tennessee State University. Soon after Harris was born the family moved to her father's hometown of Miami, Florida where her parents built up her father's medical practice. However, Harris's father died tragically in 1958 when Harris was nine years old.
Harris was one of the first Blacks to enroll at Miami Jackson High School, graduating twelfth in her class of 350 in 1967. Styles earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Lincoln University (PA) in 1971 and a Ph.D. in Genetics from Cornell University in 1975. Dr. Harris served a postdoctoral position at the Rutgers Medical School from 1976-1977. Her dissertation title: An Investigation of Several Aspects of the Killer Character in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae.
She married her husband Sidney Harris, a Morehouse graduate, shortly after she obtained her doctoral degree. They were both admitted to Cornell University and moved to Ithaca, New York where he had been accepted into a graduate engineering program and she worked at the university's genetics research center. The Harris’ have one daughter. Dr. Harris served as Executive Director for the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia from 1977-1979. In 1978, she was appointed Assistant Professor to the Morehouse College School of Medicine and served as Scientist in Residence for public television station WGTV, University of Georgia, from 1979-1980. From 1980-81, Dr. Harris was appointed Assistant Professor of Biology for Atlanta University.
Dr. Mary S. Harris served as Director of Genetic Services for the Georgia Department of Human Resources. Dr. Harris is president and genetics consultant for her company, Harris & Associates, Ltd, Atlanta, Georgia.