Bernard A. Harris Jr., MD, MBA
President & CEO
Dr. Harris is currently Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Vesalius Ventures, Inc., a venture capital firm that support and invest in early to mid-stage Healthcare technologies and companies.
He has had over twenty years of business experience, in various leadership roles as CEO, president, SVP and CMO of some of the leading companies and organizations in the nation. He is a member of the Board of Directors for U.S. Physical Therapy (NASDAQ: USPH), Sterling Bancshares (NASDAQ: SBIB), E-Cardio, RMD Networks, Monebo Technologies, American Institute Minimally Invasive Surgery (AIMIS) and the Space Agency. In addition, Dr. Harris serves as a Director of a number of investment funds, including The Endowment Fund, Salient Absolute Return Fund, Salient MLP & Energy Infrastructure Fund, Salient Midstream & MLP Fund and Salient MF Trust, with over $18 billion in assets under management (AUM); and Board of Trustees of Babson Capital Global Short Duration High Yield Fund and Babson Capital Funds Trust with over $600m AUM.
Dr. Harris was at NASA for ten years, where he conducted research in musculoskeletal physiology and disuse osteoporosis. Later, as Head of the Exercise Countermeasure Project, he conducted clinical investigations of space adaptation and developed in-flight medical devices to extend Astronaut stays in space, which involved the use of telemetry. A veteran astronaut for over eighteen years, he has logged more than 438 hours and traveled over 7.2 million miles in space. On his second flight, Dr. Harris conducted the first telemedicine conference from space with the Mayo Clinic and became the “First African American to walk in Space”. Dr. Harris served as Vice President and Chief Scientist of SPACEHAB, Inc., a venture-backed innovative space commercialization company where he directed the company’s space science business. Later, he served as Vice President of Business Development for Space Media, Inc., an Informatics company, establishing an e-commerce initiative.
Dr. Harris earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Houston, a Master of Medical Science from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Houston and a Doctorate of Medicine from Texas Tech University School of Medicine. He completed a Residency in Internal Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, a National Research Council Fellowship in Endocrinology at the NASA Ames Research Center and trained as a Flight Surgeon at the Aerospace School of Medicine, Brooks Air Force Base. He is also a licensed private pilot and certified scuba diver.
He is the recipient of numerous awards, including honorary doctorates from Stony Brook University (SUNY), Morehouse School of Medicine, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and University of Hartford, NASA Space Flight Medal, NASA Award of Merit, a fellow of the American College of Physicians, and was the recipient of the 2000 Horatio Alger Award.