Frank Ryan came to widespread international acclaim with his book, Tuberculosis: The Greatest Story Never Told, which brought to life for a non-expert reader the extraordinary story of the pioneers who discovered the cure for tuberculosis. It was published in America with the title The Forgotten Plague, and was judged a book of the year for the New York Times.
His subsequent book, Virus X, examined the global threat of newly emerging viruses. This book, with its up-front examination of viral outbreaks such as All-American outbreak of the Sin Nombre hantavirus, and the African originated Ebola and AIDS, examined the risk of the emergence of new potentially lethal viruses, and was thought important enough to take the front-page review in the Washington Post Book Review.
With his subsequent books, Virolution and Virusphere, Frank went deeper into investigating how viruses interact with their hosts, coining and developing the concept of “viral symbiosis”, showing with remarkable examples how viruses are not solely agents of diseases but are also capable of contributing to the evolution of their hosts. He further expanded on this extraordinary revelation in his book, The Mysterious World of the Human Genome, where he showed how retroviruses have changed our human evolution, playing key roles in every human pregnancy.
An emeritus consultant physician, he is a Fellow of The Royal College of Physicians of London and a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London.