MacArthur Fellows Program

Mark Harrington

AIDS Researcher | Class of 1997

AIDS Researcher
New York, New York
38 at time of award
Published July 1, 1997

About Mark's Work

Mark Harrington is a writer, researcher, and activist whose informed engagement in the AIDS research effort has advanced our knowledge about AIDS treatments.

Harrington has pressed for reforms in the methodology of drug testing, so that clinical trials would do a better job of meeting the immediate needs of patients, while also advancing our long-term knowledge of therapeutic safety and efficacy.  Harrington has also played a critical role in recommending policy changes to the National Institutes of Health.  In 1992, he issued a comprehensive report on AIDS research at the NIH, which served as the basis for the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 and strengthened the NIH's role in AIDS Research.


Harrington is executive director of the Treatment Action Group (TAG), which he founded in 1992, and has been affiliated with a number of committees for the NIH and the World Health Organization (WHO).  He previously served as a member of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) (1988-1992).  Harrington is the author or co-author of numerous reports and essays, including A National AIDS Treatment Research Agenda (1989), The Crisis in Clinical AIDS Research (1993), and the WHO report, Scaling Up Antiretroviral Therapy in Resource-Limited Settings: Guidelines for a Public Health Approach (2004).

Harrington received a B.A. (1983) from Harvard University.

Recent News

Mark Harrington recently completed serving on the New York State Ending the Epidemic Task Force and is working with other activists, researchers, and public health officials to develop and implement New York State’s plan to end AIDS by the year 2020. His activism was featured in the Academy Award–nominated documentary film How to Survive a Plague (2012). He has co-authored many articles for scientific journals, including “From HIV to Tuberculosis and Back Again: A Tale of Activism in 2 Pandemics” (Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2010); “Time for Zero Deaths from Tuberculosis” (Lancet, 2011); and “MSM, AIDS Research Activism, and HAART” (Lancet, 2012).

Updated July 2015

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