Before Walking in Space, Harris Walked Halls of UH

Published on April 13, 2010

Upcoming Distinguished Entrepreneur Speakers Series Will Feature

Medical Entrepreneur and NASA Astronaut Bernard A. Harris Jr.

Bernard A. Harris Jr., M.D., M.B.A, FACP; President and CEO of Vesalius Ventures, Inc.

The Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at UH Bauer College will present nationally renowned medical entrepreneur and NASA astronaut Bernard A. Harris Jr., M.D. at the spring installment of its Distinguished Entrepreneur Speaker Series on Thursday, April 15, at the Cullen Performance Hall on the University of Houston campus.

Harris is an accomplished NASA astronaut, physician and businessman who has made significant advancements in the field of telemedicine. He is president and CEO of Vesalius Ventures, Inc., a business accelerator for medical informatics and technology and president of the Harris Foundation, a non-profit organization that invests in America’s youth.

A veteran astronaut for over 11 years, he has logged more than 438 hours and traveled over 7.2 million miles in space. On his second flight, Harris conducted the first telemedicine conference from space with the Mayo Clinic and became the first African American to walk in space. He conducted research at NASA for a decade in musculoskeletal physiology and disuse osteoporosis and developed in-flight medical devices to extend astronaut stays in space.

“Bernard Harris is an ordinary man who has achieved extraordinary things in this lifetime,” said WCE Director Daniel Steppe. “While being a truly gifted and intelligent individual, he is a kind person who gives unsparingly to charity.”

Harris has a vast educational background, which started at the University of Houston. After receiving a bachelor of science in biology, he went on to complete a master of medical science from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, an MBA from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, and a doctorate of medicine from Texas Tech University.

“He has done a lot in his career,” Steppe added. “He holds the Horatio Alger Award, a national honor for Americans who have overcome adversity to achieve greatness. As a recipient, he stands with the ranks of Michael DeBakey, President Eisenhower and President Regan among other great American role models.”

“Students should know though, that long before Dr. Harris walked in space, he walked on this very campus and sat in the same buildings as them. He should be an inspiration to every student at the University of Houston who aspires to do great things.”

For more information on the upcoming DESS featuring Harris, click here or call 713-743-4752.

About the Distinguished Entrepreneur Speaker Series

The Distinguished Entrepreneur Speaker Series (DESS) was established to provide a forum where renowned guest speakers can share their experiences from the world of entrepreneurship with both students and the Houston community. The speakers usually share the obstacles and failures they have endured on the road to becoming successful entrepreneurs.

by Lori Reichardt