Board Director, Expert Advisor
Expert advisor at Lily’s Pad for material selection, cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
Proud mom to a college-aged daughter and to one corgi named Rue.
Dr. Debra Harris is a researcher, product developer, designer, and educator. She is an Associate Professor in the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences at Baylor University and a Fellow of the Center for Health Systems & Design at Texas A&M University. Debra is an advocate for evidence-based design, a process for the integration of interventional evidence that informs design decisions to improve the built environment and the impact on its occupants. Over the years, Debra has received recognition for her contributions including The Architectural Research Centers Consortium King Medal for Excellence in Architectural + Environmental Design Research, The ASID Joel Polsky Achievement Award, the TeamVISTA Award from the American Society for Healthcare Engineering, as well as other awards for research, design, and education.
Dr. Harris’ research is interdisciplinary and focuses on factors affecting user experience and outcomes, especially related to health and wellness, sustainability, productivity, safety, and cost implications of the built environment. Her mission is to close the gap between designers, architects, and other stakeholders and the research that informs design to build settings that promote health and wellness of its occupants. Debra’s interest in materials’ influence on health informs her research on transmission of contaminants, microbial and chemical, in the built environment. Her Environmental Forensics and Material Science Laboratory is a resource for material testing for product lifespan, durability, simulation, and performance. Debra’s areas of expertise in practice include sustainable environments, healthcare, and education, utilizing evidence-based design and focusing on indoor environmental quality factors affecting occupants. She became a part of the Lily’s Pad Board because, “I work with a lot of organizations that need assistance with issues related to my skill set. I love helping Lily’s Pad because it provides a resource for immunocompromised children and their families that is greatly needed and will be a wonderful example for others to use to bring this resource to their communities.”