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Richard Lerner Remembrance Release Time:2021-12-04


It is with great sadness that we hear of the passing of Professor Richard A Lerner. Richard served as the director of the Scripps Research Institute from 1991 until 2012, and in 1992 published the seminal paper in PNAS describing the concept of recording a series of chemical transformations by a DNA “code” with his Scripps colleague and Nobel laureate Dr. Sidney Brenner (1927-2019).


This September, our CSO Barry Morgan recorded and introduced an interview with Richard at an NIH workshop on DNA-encoded library (DEL) technology, where Richard described the informal evening meeting in his office at Scripps when he and Sidney conceived the idea of encoding chemistry with DNA. He also recalled several entertaining anecdotesregarding the genesis of DEL: he was indeed a remarkable raconteur!


“Richard visited HitGen in Chengdu twice during our early start up time, he gave us real encouragement to pursue the DEL technology development and it’s applications. I also had the valuable opportunities to visit Richard in Shanghai and San Diego, truly enjoyed our discussions about DEL and was affected by his enthusiasm for science and research. He will be deeply missed!”said Dr Jin Li, Chairman and CEO of HitGen.


Without Richard there would be no DEL, and no HitGen! He will be sorely missed.


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