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NIH Record - 75th Anniversary - National Institutes of Health

Texas A&M’s Young To Deliver Stetten Lecture, Nov. 8

The 2023 DeWitt Stetten Jr. Lecture will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 8 from 2 to 3 p.m. ET in Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10, and broadcast live via videocast. Dr. Ry Young will present “The Great Escape: Phage Lysis and Its Control.”

Dr. Ry Young

Dr. Ry Young


Young is director of the Center for Phage Technology and emeritus professor in the department of biochemistry and biophysics at Texas A&M University. He has dedicated his career to understanding bacteriophages, especially how they lyse bacterial cells. 

He will discuss how phages control lysis in a time-dependent fashion and how they might be harnessed in developing new antibiotic therapeutics. The hybrid NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series event is sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. 

Phages have evolved at least two systems for lysis of the host bacterial cell. One involves multiple genes and proteins, conducted in a precisely timed manner. The second method involves a single protein capable of independently triggering bacterial lysis, and these proteins may provide alternative strategies for developing antibiotic therapies.

Much of the modern field of phage lysis comes directly from Young’s research. Even when others turned away from the field, he saw the potential to use phages, with their facile genetics, molecular biology, and biochemistry, to ask specific biological questions. Recently, the scientific community has started looking to phages as a tool for developing antibacterial therapeutics and manipulating human microbiota.  

The Stetten Lecture series was established in 1982 to honor NIGMS’s third director. Read more about him at

The lecture is open to all. To attend virtually, go to

For series details, visit

People who require sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodation to participate should email five days before the lecture.

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