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Famed French geneticist’s foundation to receive Evangelium Vitae Medal

The University of Notre Dame’s Centre for Ethics and Culture will award the 2017 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal to a foundation begun by the late pro-life French geneticist Jerome Lejeune.

Lejeune, who died in 1994, was internationally known for his staunch support of pro-life causes. The Catholic physician and researcher was one of the three discoverers of the extra chromosome that causes Down syndrome.

In 1989, he established the Jerome Lejeune Foundation to continue his work in research, advocacy and health care for those with intellectual disabilities. Today, the foundation has branches in Paris, Philadelphia, Madrid and Dubai, making it the largest private funder of research into genetic therapies in the world.

The Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal is a lifetime achievement award given “to heroes of the pro-life movement,” the announcement said. It honours individuals whose efforts “have served to steadfastly affirm and defend the sanctity of human life from its earliest stages.”

The recipient is announced annually on Respect Life Sunday, which this year was 2nd October. The award, which is comprised of a specially commissioned medal and £8,000 prize, will be presented on 29th April at Notre Dame.

Picture: Jerome Lejeune, a French Catholic pediatrician and geneticist, who died in 1994, is pictured in an undated photo. The University of Notre Dame Centre for Ethics and Culture will award the 2017 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal to the Jerome Lejeune Foundation. (CNS photo/KNA).