Dr. Frank Lilly, 65, a geneticist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City and one of the first openly gay presidential appointees, died Saturday at his home in New York.
L The cause was prostate cancer, said his son, Matthew Adrian.
In 1987, he was named by President Ronald Reagan to the 13-member Presidential Commission on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Epidemic. His appointment upset conservatives, who opposed the presence of a homosexual on the panel.
Although this incident briefly cast Dr. Lilly in the national spotlight, he is better remembered for his work in describing the role of hereditary factors that govern susceptibility to carcinogens.
He demonstrated that different tissue types in mice yielded different levels of resistance to virus-induced leukemia, and he identified the gene responsible for that difference.