Intimate Terrain: Mapping the Universe Inside of Us

Una Ryan

Arc Fusion Dinner | San Francisco | April 21, 2015

Una Ryan’s talk covered her science as a molecular biologist and, her remarkable personal history, and showcased her art. The evening included the world premiere of her exhibit: “Intimate Terrain: Mapping the Universe Inside of Us” – a mix of micro images from inside the human body such as lymphocytes and mitochondria, with macro images of terrain photographed from space, ranging from the Ganges River to Elba Island.

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Una Ryan

Executive, Entrepreneur, Investor and Artist

Una uses the medium of art to share her views of life at a micro and macro scale. She surveys the seldom seen-world of our cellular machinery with a perspective from outer space. Extreme precision is required to achieve the ethereal quality of the final artwork, beginning with carefully executed electron micrographs of cells magnified up to x1,000,000, obtained through a complex process of chemical fixation or cryofixation, dehydration, sectioning, staining, freeze fracturing and mounting that takes days to prepare.
She is an active Angel Investor, focusing on women-led ventures, and has a portfolio of 30 start-ups in the Bay Area. She has led public and private biotech companies as President and CEO (Diagnostics For All, Waltham Technologies, and AVANT Immunotherapeutics, now Celldex). Dr. Ryan’s academic career included Howard Hughes Investigator, Established Investigator of the American Heart Association and NIH MERIT Awardee. Her current board positions include AMRI (NASDAQ), RenovoRx, and Bell Biosystems. She is Chair of The Bay Area BioEconomy Initiative, and served on the boards of many industry organizations including BayBio, MassBio and BIO.