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James C Harris, M.D.

Headshot of James C Harris
  • Director, Developmental Neuropsychiatry Clinic
  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Languages: English, Thai


Adult Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Child Development and Behavioral Health, Child Psychiatry, Lesch-Nyhan Disease, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Neuroimaging, Psychiatry, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences more

Research Interests

Neurogenetic syndromes; Autism; ADHD; Sleep Disorders; Developmental Neuropsychiatry; Psychopharmacology more

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)

Appointment Phone: 410-614-2401
1800 Orleans St.
Sheikh Zayed Tower
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Fax: 410-955-8691


Dr. James C. Harris is a professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Harris received his medical degree in 1966 from George Washington University. He trained in pediatrics at the University of Southern California Children’s Hospital and the University of Rochester before joining Johns Hopkins for his psychiatry residency and fellowship in child psychiatry, 1972-1974. The author of the textbook, Development Neuropsychiatry, Harris’ research focuses on behavioral phenotypes in neurogenetic disorders and psychopharmacology in neurodevelopmental disorders. Today at Johns Hopkins, he directs the developmental neuropsychiatry clinic. more


  • Director, Developmental Neuropsychiatry Clinic
  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Joint Appointment in History of Medicine
  • Professor of Pediatrics

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; The George Washington University School of Medicine (1966)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Pediatrics (Pediatrics) (1974)
  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (Child & Adolescent Psychiatry) (1981)
  • American Board of Psychiatry And Neurology (Psychiatry) (1980)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

My research is in Developmental Neuropsychiatry, focused on behavioral phenotypes in neurogenetic disorder. I have authored a textbook written to establish this field as subspecialty in psychiatry. This two volume book was chosen as medical book of the year among 2500 medical books in 76 specialties in the year of publication. The NIH awarded me support through an R-01 to study Lesch-Nyhan disease. Psychopharmacology in Neurodevelopmental disorders is another area of research interest. I am a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. I work as the cover editor for the journal JAMA Psychiatry for the Art and Images section and choose the cover each month and write a commentary about a psychiatric theme represented in this work. In the general department I teach a course on personality that focuses on the work of Adolph Meyer,  Erik Erikson, John  Bowlby and Carl Jung. I write the psychiatry section for the Oski Textbook of Pediatrics (now in the third edition) and the section of purine and pyrimidines for the Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics.

Clinical Trial Keywords

Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Selected Publications

Harris JC Behavioral phenotypes of neurodevelomental disorders: portals into the developing brain. In Davis,KL Coyle,JT, Charney,D and Nemeroff C. (eds.), Psychopharmacology: the Fifth Generation of Progress, American College of Psychopharmacology, Nashville, TN, 2001.

Horska, A., Kaufmann, W. E., Brant, L. J., Naidu, S., Harris, J. C., and Barker, P. B. 2002. In vivo quantitative proton MRSI study of brain development from childhood to adolescence. J Magn Reson Imaging, 15(2):137-143. 

Harris, J.C. Social Neuroscience, integrated brain function, empathy and neurodevelopmental disorders. Physiology and Behavior. 79(3):525-31, 2003.

Fairbanks LD, Harris JC, Duley JA, Simmonds HA. Nucleotide degradation products in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in inherited and acquired pathologies. Nucleosides Nucleotides Nucleic Acids. 23:1185-1187, 2004.

De Gregorio L, Jinnah HA, Harris JC, Nyhan WL, Schretlen DJ, Trombley LM,O''Neill JP. Lesch-Nyhan disease in a female with a clinically normal monozygotic twin. Mol Genet Metab. 85:70-7, 2005

Schretlen DJ, Ward J, Meyer SM, Yun J, Puig JG, Nyhan WL, Jinnah HA, Harris JC. Behavioral aspects of Lesch-Nyhan disease and its variants. Dev Med Child Neurol. 47:673-677, 2005

Jinnah HA, Visser JE, Harris JC, Verdu A, Larovere L, Ceballos-Picot I et al Delineation of the motor disorder of Lesch-Nyhan disease. Brain. 129(Pt 5):1201-1217, 2006

Harris, JC. (2007)The evolutionary biology, emergence, and facilitation of empathy. In Farrow, M. (ed) Empathy and Mental Illness. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, England. 

Harris, JC. . (2007) Psychiatric Disorders in Persons with Intellectual Disability. In Gabbard, G. (ed) Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders, American Psychiatric Association Press, Washington, D. C Harris, JC., 2007

Harris, JC. Disorders of Purine and Pyrimidine Metabolism In Kliegman, R.M., Behrman, R.E, . Jenson, H.B. and Stanton, B. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics,18th Edition. W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 2007.

Harris, J.C. Developmental Neuropsychiatric Disorders. In New Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry. Gelder, M. , Lopez-Ibor, JJ, Andreasen, N. (eds) Oxford University Press. Oxford, U.K. 2009

Harris, JC. Brain Disorders and their effect on psychopathology. In Rutter, M. (ed). Rutters Textbook of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Blackwell, London. 2008

Hong CC, Harris JC, Pearlson GD, Kim JS, Calhoun VD, Fallon JH, Golay X, Gillen JS, Simmonds DJ, van Zijl PC, Zee DS, Pekar JJ. fMRI evidence for multisensory recruitment associated with rapid eye movements during sleep. Hum Brain Mapp. 2009 Oct 28. [Epub ahead of print]

Harris J. (1998). Developmental neuropsychiatry. Volume 1: Fundamentals of developmental neuropsychiatry. Volume 2: Assessment, diagnosis and treatment of the developmental disorders. Oxford University Press, New York. (Medical Book of the Year, 1995)

Harris, J. (2006). Intellectual Disability: Understanding Its Development, Causes, Classification, Evaluation, and Treatment. Oxford University Press, New York.

Harris, J. Book Series Editor, Developmental Perspectives in Psychiatry. Oxford University Press.

Harris, J. Art and Images Editor. Archives of General Psychiatry. Monthly Commentaries on Art and Science. (75 commentaries published 2002-January 2009 in 10 topic areas)

Activities & Honors


  • Honors Outstanding Teacher Award, 1989
  • Honors Outstanding Teacher Award, 1996
  • Honors Outstanding Teacher Award, 1998
  • Honors Outstanding Teacher Award, 1999
  • Honors Outstanding Teacher Award, Sabbatical Year (Full-Time), 1992
  • Who's Who in America, 2002
  • Who's Who in the World, 2002
  • Medical Book of the Year, Developmental Neuropsychiatry (2 vols. Single Author), 1995
  • Fellow, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2002
  • American College of Psychiatrists, 2003
  • APA Agnes Purcell McGavin Award for Distinguished Career Achievement in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2007
  • Visiting Scholar, University of Chicago (Dept. of Psychiatry: Institute of Mind and Biology), 2001
  • Visiting Professor, Guys and St. Thomas Hospitals, London, 1998


  • Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 1987
  • American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 1980
  • American Academy of Child/Adolescent Psychiatry, 1985
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1983
  • American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training, 1983
  • American Psychiatric Association, 1993
  • American Psychiatric Association, 2007
    Life Fellow
  • American Psychiatric Association, 1978
  • American Sleep Disorders Association/Society for Sleep Research, 1984
  • American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 1995
  • Maryland Psychiatric Society, 1978
  • Maryland Regional Council for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 1986 - 1988
  • New York Academy of Medicine, 1993
  • Society for Neuroscience, 1984
  • Society of Professors of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 1998 - 2000
  • United States Representative, International Society for the Study of Behavioral Phenotypes, 1992

Professional Activities

  • , American College of Psychiatrists, 2003
  • Editorial Boards, Archives of General Psychiatry, 2002
  • Editorial Boards, Journal of Child Neurology, 2001
  • Medical Book of the Year, Developmental Neuropsychiatry (2 volumes, Single Author), 1995
  • Whos Who in America, 2002
  • Whos Who in the World, 2002
  • President, Society for Professors of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 1998
  • President, Society for Professors of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2000
  • U. S. Representative, Society for the Study of Behavioral Phenotype, 1992

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