Biological Sciences


Prof Paul Sharp

Location: Ashworth G61C

Telephone: 651 3684


Website: No details available

Group members: No details available


1982Ph.D., Department of Genetics, University of Edinburgh
1982-1992Lecturer in Genetics, Trinity College, University of Dublin
1985-1987Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Houston
1992-1993Associate Professor of Genetics, Trinity College, University of Dublin
1992Elected to membership, European Molecular Biology Organization
1993-2007Professor of Genetics, University of Nottingham
1993Elected to membership, Royal Irish Academy
2008President, Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution
2007-PresentProfessor of Genetics, University of Edinburgh

Research groupings

Molecular evolution and genomics, Infectious disease and immunology


MSc in Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis

Research interests

Evolution of viruses, and evolution of bacteria. My research employs computer analyses of nucleotide and protein sequence data to address a range of evolutionary questions.


Viral evolution: what are the origins of human viruses, and what factors influence their genetic diversity? A particular focus has been the origins and evolution of AIDS viruses.


Bacterial evolution: what do bacterial genome sequences tell us about evolution? Two particular areas involve the evolution of synonymous codon usage bias, and the evolution of repetitive sequence families.

Representative publications

Keele, B.F., Van Heuverswyn, F., Li, Y., Bailes, E., Takehisa, J.,Santiago, M., Bibollet-Ruche, F., Chen, Y., Wain, L.V., Liegeois, F., Loul, S., Ngole, E.M., Bienvenue, Y., Delaporte, E., Brookfield , J.F.Y., Sharp, P.M., Shaw, G.M., Peeters M. & Hahn, B.H. (2006) Chimpanzee reservoirs of pandemic and non-pandemic HIV-1. Science 313:523-526.

Wilson, L.A. & Sharp, P.M. (2006) Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus (ERIC) sequences in Escherichia coli: evolution and implications for ERIC-PCR. Molecular Biology and Evolution 23:1156-1168.

Sharp, P.M., Bailes, E., Grocock, R.J., Peden, J.F. & Sockett, R.E. (2005) Variation in the strength of selected codon usage bias among bacteria. Nucleic Acids Research 33:1141-1153.

Sharp, P.M., Shaw, G.M. & Hahn, B.H. (2005) Simian immunodeficiency virus infection of chimpanzees.Journal of Virology 79:3891-3902.

Bailes, E., Gao, F., Bibollet-Ruche, F., Courgnaud, V., Peeters, M., Marx, P.A., Hahn, B.H. & Sharp, P.M. (2003) Hybrid origin of SIV in chimpanzees. Science 300:1713.

Sharp, P.M. (2002) Origins of human virus diversity. Cell 108:305-312.