Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

 Division of Infectious Diseases

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photo Lee H. Harrison, MD

Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology

Head, Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Research Unit


Phone: 412-624-1599

Office: A525 Crabtree Hall, GSPH
130 DeSoto Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-624-1599
Fax: 412-624-7397
Administrative Assistant:
Jacqueline Murer
Address: Parran 507
130 DeSoto Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-624-1599
Fax: 412-624-7397
Education and Training
BA, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1978
MD, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, 1982
Internship, University of Virginia Hospital, VA, 1985
Residency, University of Virginia Hospital, VA, 1985
Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Meningitis and Special Pathogens Branch, 1987
Infectious Diseases Fellowship, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, 1989
Research Interest
Dr. Harrison's research focuses on the epidemiology and genomic epidemiology of important vaccine-preventable and drug-resistant bacterial pathogens that are transmitted in the community and causes of hospital-associated infections (HAI's). Pathogens studied include Streptococcus pneumoniae, group B Streptococcus, Neisseria meningitidis, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella enterica, Clostridium difficile, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. He is the PI of the Microbial Genomics Epidemiology Laboratory (MiGEL), which conducts research on and provides training in genomic epidemiology and provides outbreak detection support to the Director of Infection Control at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). MiGEL uses molecular epidemiologic tools, such as pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), multilocus sequence typing (MLST), multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) and whole genome sequencing (WGS) to study emergence and transmission of these bacteria. More recently, Dr. Harrison has been studying the use of WGS and data mining of the electronic medical record (EMR) and machine learning tools for enhanced outbreak detection in the hospital. He is also studying the utility of the peri-rectal microbiome to predict risk of HAI's.

Dr. Harrison has led a variety of NIH Fogarty International Center international training grants on bacterial diseases and HIV infection, both in Brazil and Mozambique.
Clinical Interest
Dr. Harrison attends on the inpatient general infectious diseases consultation service at UPMC-Presbyterian Hospital. The service is commonly consulted for advice on diagnosis and treatment of infections including skin and soft-tissue infection; bacteremia and sepsis; central nervous system infections, such as bacterial meningitis, viral encephalitis, and brain abscess; osteomyelitis; necrotizing fasciitis; endocarditis and other cardiovascular infections; device-related and prosthetic infections; C. difficile infection; multidrug-resistant infections, and healthcare-associated infections.
Educational Interest
Dr. Harrison teaches a course entitled "Methods in Infectious Diseases Epidemiology" (EPIDEM/IDM 2161) in the Graduate School of Public Health. Topics that are covered include outbreak investigation, genomic/molecular epidemiology, new vaccines and vaccine prevention, study designs in infectious diseases epidemiology, drug-resistant bacteria, public health surveillance, and emerging infectious diseases. He also lectures on these and other topics in variety of other fora at the University of Pittsburgh, nationally, and internationally. Dr. Harrison has mentored numerous infectious diseases fellows, as well as MPH, DrPH, and PhD students.
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Mustapha, MM, Marsh, JW, Krauland, MG, Fernandez, JO, de Lemos, AP, Dunning Hotopp, JC, Wang, X, Mayer, LW,, Lawrence, JG, Hiller, NL, Harrison, LH. Genomic epidemiology of hypervirulent serogroup W, ST-11 Neisseria meningitidis. EBio Medicine. 2015; 2(10): 1447-55.
Marsh, JW, Krauland, KG, Nelson, JS, Schlackman, JL, Brooks, AM, Pasculle, AW, Shutt, KA, Doi, Y, Querry, AM, Muto, CA, Harrison, LH. Genomic epidemiology of an endoscope-associated outbreak of KPC carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae. PLoS One. 2015; 10(12): 31044310.
Harrison, LH, Shutt, KA, Arnold, KE, Stern, EJ, Pondo, T, Kiehlbauch, JA, Myers, RA, Hollick, RA, Schmink, S, Vello, M, Stephens, DS, Messonier, NE, Mayer, L, Clark, TA. Meningococcal carriage among Georgia and Maryland high school students. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2015; 211: 1761-1768.
Harrison, LH. Vaccines for prevention of group B meningococcal disease: Not your father’s vaccines. Vaccine. 2015; 49(6Sr): S345-S-354.
Torso, LM, Voorhees, RE, Forest, SA, Gordon, AZ, Silvestri, SA, Kissler, B, Shlackman, J, Sandt, CH, Toma, P, Bachert, J, Mertz, KJ, Harrison, LH. Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak associated with restaurant beef grinding. Journal of Food Protocols. 2015; 78: 1272-1297.
Curry, SR, Muto, CA, Schlackman, JL, Pasculle, AW, Shutt, KA, Marsh, JW, Harrison, LH. Use of multilocus variable number of tandem repeats analysis genotyping to determine the role of asymptomatic carriers in Clostridium difficile transmission. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2013; 57: 1094-1102.
Sponsored Research/Activities
Title: Analyzing Adult Pneumococcal Vaccination Implementation in the Underserved
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases
Grant Number: R01 AI116575
Start Year: 2015
End Year: 2019
Title: Genomic Epidemiology for Hospital Outbreak Detection
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases
Grant Number: R21 AI109459
Start Year: 2014
End Year: 2016
Title: Clinical Research and Mentoring in Epidemiology of Bacterial Diseases
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases
Grant Number: K24 AI052788
Start Year: 2008
End Year: 2015
Title: Alternative Strategies for Adult Pneumococcal Vaccination
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases
Grant Number: R01 AI076256
Start Year: 2008
End Year: 2013
Title: Core ABC Activities + FoodNet Active Surveillance and Audits Statewide (Admin Core)
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: Johns Hopkins University/Center for Disease Control
Grant Number: U50 CK000203
Start Year: 2012
End Year: 2016
Notable Achievements
Voting Member, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, CDC
Elected member, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
Elected member, American Society for Clinical Investigation
Elected member, American Epidemiological Society
Editorial Board, Journal of Infectious Diseases