Celebrating Ryland Young’s career, advances in phage applications

New biochemistry lecture series will honor the soon-to-be professor emeritus

August 30, 2022

After Ryland ‘Ry’ Young retires on Aug. 31, his students can keep an ear out for his signature jangling of keys in the hallways — the renowned faculty member will still manage his lab, as professor emeritus.

Young, Ph.D., is the director of the Texas A&M Center for Phage Technology, a University Distinguished Professor, Regents Professor and the Sadie Hatfield Professor of Agriculture in the Texas A&M Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

Over his 44-year career at the Texas A&M College of Medicine and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Young has made broad advances in the understanding of bacteria-infecting viruses called bacteriophages, or phages. This work was performed in collaboration with many students and colleagues. Overall, Young’s work illuminated the ancient “arms race” between phages and bacteria and shed light on ways to combat antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.

“I can’t overstate the impact Dr. Young has had on his field, generations of students, this department and the reputation of the university,” said Josh Wand, Ph.D., distinguished professor and head of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. “We want the department to remember him and celebrate those achievements, so we are starting a new endowed lecture series in his honor.”

The Ryland F. Young III Lecture in Biochemistry endowment will support bringing preeminent experts in biochemistry and biophysics to speak at Texas A&M. Donations to the endowment will be accepted for the next five years. The Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics will provide up to $12,500 in matched donations for gifts of $500-$12,500.

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