Frank P. Ryan

Frank P. Ryan

Honorary Senior Lecturer Department of Medical Education; The University of Sheffield, UK

Since 1992 Frank Ryan have worked in theoretical evolutionary biology. He introduced and defined new concepts such as “viral symbiosis”, “genomic creativity” and “holobiontic genome”, which have been adopted and further developed by other colleagues. In particular he has co-written about the definition and extrapolation of these themes with evolutionary virologists, Professor Luis Villarreal, of UC Irvine and Professor Erik Larsson of Uppsala University.

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Ryan graduated MB, ChB with honours in Sheffield in 1970. He has written many papers in gastroenterology. But his most original research was in using the phage system to investigate the systemic immune abnormalities associated with hyposplenism and autoimmunity. He is currently interested both in the expansion of prevailing evolutionary dynamics to include concepts such as viral symbiosis, hybridogenesis and epigenetic inheritance systems. Ryan is also examining the potential of the epigenetic dysregulation of human endogenous retroviruses as potential contributors to autoimmunity.

Frank Ryan is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, A Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and a Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London. He has written a number of books around these themes. He is an Emeritus Consultant Physician at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.



"I think we need to radically expand the idea of mutation as the sole underlying mechanism for changing the heredity of an organism. I advocate four main mechanisms, Mutation, Epigenetic Inheritance Systems, Symbiogenesis at genetic level, and Hybridogenesis – the acronym “MESH”. I suspect there may well be additional mechanisms in microorganisms."