Professor Paul M Sharp FRS
Professor of Genetics and Alan Robertson Chair of Genetics, Institute of Evolutionary Biology, University of Edinburgh
Paul Sharp is an international leader in the field of molecular evolution. He was a pioneer in the exploitation of DNA sequence databases to obtain insights into the evolutionary process. His early work was especially important in establishing widely-used measures of codon usage bias, and providing evidence that natural selection acts on mutations that do not alter protein sequences. He went on to study the evolution of HIV sequences; his work has been of seminal importance in establishing the date of origin of HIV, and its transmission from chimpanzees to humans. Most recently, he has shown that the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum comes from gorillas.