The world’s youngest Ph.D. listed in the Guinness World Book of Records was a German 13-year-old in the early 1800s. However, as you know, in the stem cell wild west, as I often say, “you just can’t make this stuff up”. So now we have a naturopath who injects fake stem cells into the necks of patients who claims that he got an MD/Ph.D. at that same age, but his name is curiously absent from the record books. So what’s up with that? Let’s dig in.
Why Would We Care?
Marc Harris is a naturopath who has been showing chiropractors how to perform intrathecal “stem cell” injections in people’s necks through a course sponsored by Brimhall Wellness. I have detailed why this is one of the most dangerous things I have seen anyone do with a needle. Marc also claims that he was a child uber genius who obtained an MD/Ph.D. when he was a young teenager.
Given that a naturopath has no business performing let alone teaching this procedure, whether he really holds an MD degree and not one, but three Ph.D.’s starts to become relevant and critical. Not that an unlicensed M.D. (he holds no active license) who never went to subspecialty training should be doing these procedures, but to his alternative health audience, these degrees obviously matter. They provide gravitas so that nobody outside of me, has ever publically questioned whether the procedures he was teaching them were being performed safely.
The Smartest Person on Earth?
There’s a chiropractic education group called Brimhall Wellness that advertises Marc Harris as the world’s smartest human. How so? The course organizers claim that Marc Harris received his high school degree at age 7, finished college at age 9, and received PhDs in Biology, Biochemistry, and Physiology by age 13. That means that he clearly outdid little old Karl Witte who only got a single Ph.D. at age 13 in the early 1800s.
Marc Harris is listed on the Brimhall website in various ways, often highlighting these three claimed PhDs. For example, in a January 2019 “Natural Biohacking for Health and Wellness” seminar he is listed as Marc Harris,
ND, MD, PhD, PhD, PhD. In a July 13th, 2020 Brimhall tweet he is listed as Marc Harris, MD, ND, PhD3. However, given that these achievements would make Marc one of the smartest people to have ever lived, can any of this be verified?
A colleague who has been to these Brimhall courses contacted me after my last blog on this topic as he was also very dubious about Marc’s credentials. He asked one of the companies that hawk Marc’s credentials about his MD degree and three Ph.D.’s. He received this document:
So here we seem to have an MD/Ph.D. degree granted by the University of Washington in 1973. That’s consistent with Marc’s descriptions elsewhere about his MD/Ph.D. We also have a naturopathic license issued by Montana (NOT a medical license) and a certificate from a group calling itself the American Association of Integrative and Pastoral Medicine (also NOT a medical license). So right here, we have to ask, what is someone who has a medical degree doing without a license to practice medicine?
We don’t have any verification of these degrees. We also don’t see any other Ph.D.’s claimed by the Brimhall website as we only a single Ph.D.
The National Student Clearinghouse
My search to confirm or debunk these credentials started with the website where colleges and universities place their degree information. I didn’t have Marc’s date of birth, but I had a unique first name spelling and a graduation year. Given that the MD/Ph.D. program at the University of Washington has only 10 students this year and there would have been even fewer in 1973, it’s likely safe to assume that there would be fewer than 10 names to match. That search returned NO HITS.
In addition, the University of Washington lists its M.D./Ph.D. graduate alumni online and there is no “Marc Harris” listed. See the list below:
Also, note that the date when they began and completed the program is listed. The date ranges in which Marc claims to have gotten an MD/Ph.D. are present, so we know that kids who graduated in the 1970s are shown.
I am also unable to locate a Ph.D. thesis from the University of Washington library authored by Marc Harris in the 70s.
Youngest to Graduate from UW?
Online research showed that in 2007, Andrew Hsu was the second youngest to graduate college from UW at age 16. Other online research demonstrated that Marc Harris is also not on this list of the world’s youngest to receive a Ph.D. Marc’s name is also curiously absent from this list of young college graduates and Ph.D.’s reviewed as part of an academic paper on the phenomenon. What’s really interesting here is that the authors asked the University of Washington for its list of early age degrees and were told this:
“According to a personal communication from Professor Nancy M. Robinson dated 9 July 1982, the University of Washington has had three extremely young graduates recently. Mathematics major Sam Ho, born 4 July 1968, was graduated on 12 June 1982, nearly a month before his 14th birthday. Mathematics major Alan Lippman, born 5 June 1967, finished at age 15 1/12. Classics major Eva Von Dassow, born 15 August 1965, had been graduated exactly a year earlier, two months before her 16th birthday. For details about that institution’s remarkable programs, see Robinson (In press).”
This is extremely concerning for Marc as these students are in his approximate age range and these are 4-year college graduates graduating at age 15-16. You would think that a 13 year old graduating just a decade earlier with an MD/Ph.D. would have made this list. Marc’s name, despite being clearly the youngest Ph.D. in the 20th century on the planet is also curiously absent from this list of notable people at UW.
A CSU Ph.D.
I had personal connections at Colorado State University to check into whether Marc Harris got a Ph.D. at that institution after I received his CV from Brimhall Wellness which had this entry:
• N.D., Bastyr University
• M.D, Ph.D. University of Washington
• Ph.D.Colorado State University
My CSU contacts are still working on this issue, so I will report that back here once I get my answer.
Right now I don’t see any convincing evidence that Marc Harris attained these credentials at all, let alone as a tween. If I am missing something here, Marc should post his credentials and transcripts, which I would welcome. One way to do that would be to show his degrees showing up on the National Student Clearinghouse once he enters all of his personal information. Another way would be to request his transcripts from the University of Washington and Colorado State University.
The upshot? Marc Harris’ claimed credentials are a critical part of his authority to lecture on how to perform complex stem cell injection procedures as well as to lecture on complex biochemistry and genetics topics. Hence, the fact that I am unable to verify them is very concerning.
This blog post provides general information to help the reader better understand regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal health, and related subjects. All content provided in this blog, website, or any linked materials, including text, graphics, images, patient profiles, outcomes, and information, are not intended and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always consult with a professional and certified healthcare provider to discuss if a treatment is right for you.
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