Posted on June 21, 2009

Breast Cancer Action pays tribute to the life of Shyamala G. Harris. A world-renowned scientist as well as a great friend to Breast Cancer Action, Harris died of cancer on February 11, 2009.

Harris’s work in isolating and characterizing the progesterone receptor gene transformed the medical establishment’s understanding of the hormone-responsiveness of breast tissue. Her discovery sparked many advances regarding the role of progesterone and its cellular receptor in breast biology and cancer.

She was innovative in her work, generous in her commitments, and loyal to the causes in which she believed. Her adamant belief in Breast Cancer Action’s work was an inspiration. We feel deeply honored and proud to have counted her among our friends, and she will be sadly and greatly missed. The world of women affected by breast cancer changed for the better because of Harris’s presence in it.

She is survived by many family members, including her daughters Kamala and Maya. An activist to the end, in lieu of flowers, Harris requested that donations be made to Breast Cancer Action. We remain forever grateful for her generosity.

For an expanded look into Shyamala’s history with Breast Cancer Action, read our latest article on her legacy and her connection to our work.

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