Professor Harris was awarded the honour of Fellowship of the Association of Cancer Physicians (FACP) for outstanding contributions to the development of medical oncology and cancer research.
This is awarded based on translational research, particularly breast cancer and pathways of hypoxia, angiogenesis and endocrine regulation of growth. He also established two departments of medical oncology, the first time in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1982 and then one in Oxford in 1989. In both, he established phase I units as part of a CRUK national programme, with a particular emphasis on pharmacodynamics and sampling of tumours during studies, to help direct therapies. He took a major role in developing antiangiogenic therapy and investigating new pathways that could mediate resistance to current drugs.
He has trained over 50 DPhil students in medical oncology, clinical and cancer therapy. He also was involved in the early development of genetic classification of breast cancer and many refinements based on new discoveries of the interactions with angiogenesis and hypoxia biology.