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Dr. Mike McShane hands an award to Jason Harris.
Dr. Jason Harris received the Outstanding Alumni Award for his contributions to the university and innovations in the field of biomedical engineering. The award was presented by Dr. Mike McShane, professor and department head for the biomedical engineering department. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Dr. Jason Harris ’02 is the recipient of the 2022 Outstanding Alumni Award, presented by the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University. Harris received this honor for his contributions to engineering, his impact on society and his dedication to Texas A&M.

“The biomedical engineering program at Texas A&M just celebrated its 50th anniversary,” said Harris. “Being recognized by the department for accomplishments in my career is truly an honor and a humbling experience, given the greatness of the students the department has trained over the years.”

After discovering his interest in biomedical engineering during his undergraduate degree, he decided to pursue his doctorate at Texas A&M.

Fueled by dreams of helping individuals through engineering, Harris utilized his passion to obtain a position at Ethicon, Inc., a Johnson and Johnson company, where he has worked for over 20 years. 

Now an Engineering Fellow for Johnson and Johnson, Harris helps develop medical devices used for minimally invasive surgical procedures, many of which have altered and pushed the boundaries of science, technology and engineering. These devices have helped revolutionize the health care industry and have benefitted millions of patients globally. 

“The devices I have the privilege to work on transform and often save people’s lives,” said Harris. “When I was recognized for this award, I talked briefly about my career and a product I worked on. Afterward, an audience member thanked me because he said the product saved his life. I’ve had a few interactions like that with patients over the years, and it further reinforces the importance of the work that I am blessed to do.”

According to Harris, he is most proud of how his research and designs have improved the lives of patients and the various concepts he has co-invented, totaling over 1,450 patented and patent pending products and features.

In addition, Harris has helped the department develop its ties and interconnectivity with industry through his collaborations with Drs. Mike McShane and Bala Haridas, as well as other faculty in the biomedical engineering department. 

“Dr. Harris has risen to become a leader within the field of biomedical engineering and is the second-most prolific inventor in Johnson and Johnson’s history,” said McShane. “His contributions to product launches have dramatically impacted Ethicon, but more importantly, they have helped patients across bariatric, thoracic, colorectal, solid organ and general surgery specialties. He has established multiple industry and academic collaborations with Texas A&M, helping train the next generation of medical device innovators.”

Dr. Jay Humphrey, a former faculty member in the department and Harris’s doctoral advisor, spoke about Harris’ achievements during the award presentation, highlighting the global impact he continues to make through his profession.

“It's truly remarkable what Jason has accomplished since moving to Johnson and Johnson,” said Humphrey. “We, as biomedical engineers, all aspire to improve the human condition, and our work truly advances science, engineering and health care. He has done that on a daily basis.”

Harris plans to work closely with Texas A&M to continue helping students prepare for industry roles through their educational experiences. In addition, he will continue partnering with faculty to tackle global biomedical engineering problems and create products that alleviate issues for patients worldwide.

“I’m very excited about the possibilities we have to improve the quality of care for patients around the world,” said Harris. “The skills and capabilities of the faculty and students at Texas A&M are outstanding, and we hope to partner with the department to bring new innovative products to patients in need.”