Leonard Lerman, a molecular biologist known for discovering that certain molecules bind to DNA via intercalation, has died, The New York Times reports. Lerman, 87, died of complications from a chronic neurological disease.
His work on intercalation, which he carried out in collaboration with Sydney Brenner and Francis Crick, ultimately helped Brenner and Crick establish the triplet nature of the genetic code.
Lerman was also a co-inventor of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis to separate DNA fragments.
He served on the faculties of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, and the State University of New York at Albany. He also worked at the Genetics Institute in Boston and was a senior lecturer at MIT.