Argentina 

Member of the Pontifical Academy of Science 

 

A doctor for physical health, a doctor for hearts

As a scientist Jerome Lejeune opened up a new field in the genetics of "diseases of the intelligence" as he called them. His discovery in 1958, along with Marthe Gautier and Raymond Turpin, of trisomie 21, an extra chromosome which causes the Down syndrome, launched a new discipline in medicine, one on which he became the undisputed authority.

As a doctor Lejeune was a model of wisdom and gentleness, of rigour and piety ; and his consultations at the Paris Children’s Hospital were famous.

For the sick child and his family the doctor became an angel of light.

For his colleagues and his students consultation with him was a sort of Socratic dialogue, an interplay of pertinent questions and answers conducted with the greatest respect.

These thousands of consultations on little patients from all over the world are now a veritable monument of XXth century medicine.