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Harriet A. Washington  

Award-Winning Medical Writer & Editor

Harriet Washington is an award-winning medical writer and editor, and the author of the best-selling book, Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present. In her work, she focuses mainly upon bioethics, history of medicine, African American health issues and the intersection of medicine, ethics and culture.

Medical Apartheid, the first social history of medical research with African Americans, was chosen as one of Publishers’ Weekly Best Books of 2006. The book also won the National Book Critics Circle Nonfiction Award, a PEN award, 2007 Gustavus Myers Award, and Nonfiction Award of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. It has been praised in periodicals from the Washington Post and Newsweek to Psychiatric Services, the Economist, Social History of Medicine and the Times of London and it has been excerpted in the New York Academy of Sciences’ Update. Experts have praised its scholarship, accuracy and insights. Medical Apartheid was the #1 best-seller in medical ethics on Amazon.

In her latest book, Infectious Madness, Washington looks at the connection between germs and mental illness, revealing that schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, Alzheimer's, and anorexia also may be caused by bacteria, parasites, or viruses. Weaving together cutting-edge research and case studies, Washington demonstrates how strep throat can trigger rapid-onset OCD in a formerly healthy teen and how contact with cat litter elevates the risk of schizophrenia. Infectious Madness was released in October 2015.

Washington wrote Medical Apartheid while she was a Research Fellow in Ethics at Harvard Medical School. She has worked as a Page One editor for USA Today, as a science editor for metropolitan dailies and several national magazines, and her award-winning medical writing. Her work has appeared in Health, Emerge and Psychology Today, as well as such academic publications as the Harvard Public Health Review, the Harvard AIDS Review, Nature, The Journal of the American Medical Association, The American Journal of Public Health and the New England Journal of Medicine. Her awards include the Congressional Black Caucus Beacon of Light Award, two awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and a Unity Award from Emerge. She is the founding Editor of The Harvard Journal of Minority Public Health and has presented her work at universities in the U.S. and abroad.

In her book, Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself, Washington takes an in depth, eye-opening look at the 40,000+ patents on human genes and their harmful, even lethal, consequences on public health. Her other books include, Parkinson’s Disease, a monograph published by Harvard Health Publications, Living Healthy with Hepatitis C and she is co-author of Health and Healing for African Americans.

Ms. Washington has taught at venues that include New School University, SUNY, the Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Rochester, Harvard School of Public Health and Tuskegee University. She has sat on the boards of many organizations, including The Young Women’s Christian Association, the School Health Advisory Board of the Monroe County Department of Health and the Journal of the National Medical Association, to name a few.

Ms. Washington has also worked as a laboratory technician, as a medical social worker, as the manager of a poison-control center/suicide hotline, and has performed as an oboist and as a classical-music announcer for WXXI-FM, a PBS affiliate in Rochester, N.Y. She lives in New York City with her husband Ron DeBose.

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Author Harriet Washington Lectures on Medical Apartheid ...

Feb 20, 2014 ... Distinguished author Harriet A. Washington delivered a lecture titled “Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black ...

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