Ross Granville Harrison was an American biologist and anatomist credited as the first to work successfully with artificial tissue culture.
Harrison received his early schooling in Baltimore, where his family had moved from Germantown, Philadelphia. Announcing in his mid teens a resolve to study medicine, he entered Johns Hopkins University in 1886, receiving his BA degree in 1889 at the age of nineteen. In 1890, he worked as a laboratory assistant for the United States Fish Commission, studying the embryology of the oyster with his close friend E. G. Conklin and H. V. Wilson.
In 1891, he participated in a marine zoology field trip to Jamaica. He worked in Bonn, Germany during 1892â€“3, 1895â€“6 and 1898, attracted to the work of Moritz Nussbaum, becoming an M.D. there in 1899. He gained his Ph.D. in 1894 after courses in physiology with H. Newell Martin and morphology with William Keith Brooks. He devoted study to mathematics, astronomy and also the Latin and Greek classics. He worked with T. H. Morgan as a lecturer in morphology at Bryn Mawr. He married Ida Lange in Altona, Germany on January 9, 1896 and they had a family of five children.
From 1899 until 1907 he was the Associate Professor of Anatomy at Johns Hopkins University, teaching histology and embryology. By this time he had contributed more than twenty papers and made the acquaintance of many leading biologists. His work on tissue culture became very influential.