Brian Harvey is a trained physiologist with a primary degree in physics and physiology and a PhD in physiology and biophysics from the National University of Ireland. After moving to France in 1982 following his PhD, he joined the French National Science Council (CNRS) and became group leader of the membrane transport research team at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) labs in Villefranche-sur-mer.
In 1992 he was appointed Professor of Physiology at UCC where he established and directed the Wellcome Trust Cell Physiology Research Unit and held the senior management post of Vice-president for Research 1998-2002.
In 2002, Harvey was appointed to the Chair of Molecular Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and established the Molecular Medicine Laboratories at Beaumont Hospital. In 2004, he was appointed Director of the RCSI Research Institute and in 2005, Director of Research at RCSI. In September 2010 he stepped down from these administrative posts to return to full-time academic work.
In 2000, Harvey was elected a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Humanities and in 2007 was elected to the Royal Irish Academy. From 2004-2007, he was a founding member and chair of the RIA Life Sciences Committee and served on the committee again from 2009-2013. In 2005 he received the Laureat Prix Servier from the Servier Institute for his work on rapid responses to steroid hormones. He was elected meber of the European Academy of Sciences in 2000 and elected to the Royal Irish Academy in 2007. In 2006, Harvey was awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Merite by The President of France for his role in developing Ireland-France scientific exchanges. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science from Michigan State University in 2013.
Harvey is the co-ordinator of several national and EU research networks including the The National Biophotonics & Imaging Platform Ireland (www.nbipireland.ie) and the Marie Curie COFUND in Assistive Technologies. He is a member of the management committee of ESF COST Action in cystic fibrosis and the vice-chair of COST Action in Aldosterone. In 2010, Harvey was appointed as Director of Research, RESPECT-DOCTRID Research Institute (www.respect.ie).
Harvey's research is focused on steroid hormones and epithelial membrane transport, in particular, the female-specific effects of estrogen on ion transport and cell biology in lung, kidney and intestine, and the regulation of ENaC by aldosterone in the kidney.