Kenneth J. Ryan is a medical microbiologist who has also served as a medical school dean. He is certified as a specialist in medical microbiology by the American Board of Pathology (ABP) and the American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM). In 1972, following military service, Dr. Ryan was recruited by the then newly formed University of Arizona College of Medicine to establish infectious disease diagnostic services at their university hospital in Tucson. He later directed the entire Clinical Laboratory Service at University Medical Center. Dr. Ryan has served in multiple leadership positions in hospital (Director, Executive Committee), physician practice plan (Trustee, Treasurer), and university (see below) administrations.

The diagnosis and pathogenesis of bacterial and fungal diseases has been Dr. Ryan’s teaching and research focus. He has published over 150 papers and book chapters in these fields and has been recognized nationally by membership on expert committees of the ABP, ABMM, the National Institutes of Health, and the editorial board of multiple pathology and microbiology journals. In 1984, he became an author of the standard medical microbiology text for medical students and with the 3rd edition (1994), took over as editor of Sherris Medical Microbiology now in its 6th edition. The 7th edition will be published by McGraw-Hill in 2018.

Academically, Dr. Ryan holds the rank of Professor of Immunobiology and Emeritus Professor of Pathology and Microbiology. In 2000, he moved into academic administration as Dean for Academic Affairs with oversight for all student, faculty, and educational programs of the UA College of Medicine. In that role he led the development of a newly integrated curriculum which is now accessed by medical students and faculty through classroom and online vehicles. Between 2001 and 2004, Dr. Ryan also served as Interim Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the College of Medicine. Until his UA retirement in 2007, he played a leading role in planning the expansion of the College of Medicine to a four-year campus in Phoenix. He is still teaching medical students, writing, and now consulting with groups seeking to create new medical schools, to expand existing medical schools, or to restructure academic medical centers. A passionate opera fan, Dr. Ryan has given preview lectures prior to performances of the Arizona Opera Company for over 20 years.