- Assistant Professor, Department of Global Health, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam
- Infectious Disease Specialist, Internal Medicine
Dr. Vanessa Harris is an internist, infectious diseases physician, and Assistant Professor at the Department of Global Health, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam (UvA). Her research studies how interactions between the intestinal microbiome and host immunity can drive vulnerabilities to infectious diseases in global health. A key research area is understanding whether the intestinal microbiome is a determinant of rotavirus vaccine immunogenicity and if it can be employed to improve vaccine performance in low and middle-income countries. A parallel research line is understanding how effective vaccines can protect children in low- and middle-income settings from inappropriate antibiotic use and the development of antimicrobial resistance. Her work is embedded in long-term international partnerships with researchers in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and the United States.
Between 2016 and 2020, Dr. Harris worked in China for the AIGHD and also as a clinical consultant at the Hong Kong University Hospital in Shenzhen, PRC. Before this, she completed her internal medicine residency, infectious disease fellowship, and Ph.D. at the Amsterdam University Medical Center (UMC) and University of Amsterdam (UvA) in 2018. Her rotavirus thesis project titled The Role of the Intestinal Microbiome in Rotavirus Vaccine Immunogenicity. An Exploration from Correlation to Causation investigated whether gut microbiome impacted the effectiveness of the rotavirus vaccine in children living in low-income countries, and was recognized as one of the top UMC Ph.D. theses of that year.
Vanessa grew up in the United States, where she received her bachelor’s degree summa cum laude at Amherst College and then obtained her M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She was a Fulbright Scholar from 2002 to 2003.