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Feargal studied microbiology in University College Cork in Ireland for his undergraduate degree. Following this, he completed a MSc. in Bioinformatics & Systems Biology. He then began his PhD in the APC Microbiome Institute in Cork. During this time he was involved in several microbiome-related projects across the APC, including software development and the gut-brain axis, but his primary research was studying the mucosal microbiome of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and its interaction with the host by utilising a combination of metagenomics and RNA-Seq.

Upon completion of his PhD, he began a post-doctoral position in the Gut Phageomics lab in the APC, where he led the bioinformatics team mining the human virome for novel viruses and exploring the role of bacteriophage in the gut microbiome in health and disease. This included developing frameworks for studying the human virome, investigating the impact of birth mode on the infant gut virome and several projects investigating IBD and other conditions.

In 2018, he moved to Australia to join David Lynn’s group at SAHMRI, where he will be involved in the AIR clinical study to examine the interaction between the microbiome and immune system in early life.

Highlight publications

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Shkoporov, A.N., Ryan, F.J., Draper, L.A., Forde, A., Stockdale, S.R., Daly, K.M., McDonnell, S.A., Nolan, J.A., Sutton, T.D., Dalmasso, M. and McCann, A. (2018)

Reproducible protocols for metagenomic analysis of human faecal phageomes.

Microbiome, 6(1), p.68.

Stilling, R.M., Moloney, G.M., Ryan, F.J., Hoban, A.E., Bastiaanssen, T., Shanahan, F., Clarke, G., Claesson, M.J., Dinan, T.G. and Cryan, J.F. (2018)

Social interaction-induced activation of RNA splicing in the amygdala of microbiome-deficient mice.

eLife, 7, p.e33070.

McCann, A., Ryan, F.J., Stockdale, S.R., Dalmasso, M., Blake, T., Ryan, C.A., Stanton, C., Mills, S., Ross, P.R. and Hill, C. (2018)

Viromes of one-year-old infants reveal the impact of birth mode on microbiome diversity.​

PeerJ, 6, p.e4694.

Flemer, B., Lynch, D.B., Brown, J.M., Jeffery, I.B., Ryan, F.J., Claesson, M.J., O'riordain, M., Shanahan, F. and O'toole, P.W. (2017)

Tumour-associated and non-tumour-associated microbiota in colorectal cancer.

Gut, 66(4), pp.633-643.

Hoban, A.E., Stilling, R.M., Ryan, F.J., Shanahan, F., Dinan, T.G., Claesson, M.J., Clarke, G. and Cryan, J.F. (2016)

Regulation of prefrontal cortex myelination by the microbiota.

Translational Psychiatry, 6(4), p.e774.

Allard, G., Ryan, F.J., Jeffery, I.B. and Claesson, M.J. (2015)

SPINGO: a rapid species-classifier for microbial amplicon sequences.

BMC Bioinformatics,16(1), p.324.