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Genetics professor dies at 78

Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Harvey Bender, professor of biological sciences and director of the Human Genetics Program at the University of Notre Dame, died Saturday at the age of 78, according to a University press release.

Bender joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1960. His award-winning research and teaching focused on human developmental genetics and the epidemiology of human genetic disease. Most recently, he taught two courses at Notre Dame.

He studied chemistry and English at Case Western Reserve University before completing graduate studies in developmental genetics at Northwestern University, according to the press release. Bender received both his master’s and doctoral degrees at Northwestern.

Outside of Notre Dame, Bender served as the founding director of the Regional Genetics Center at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, the release stated. The professor was also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a founding fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics.

Bender is preceded in death by his wife Eileen and is survived by his three children and eight grandchildren.

A memorial service for Bender will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Temple Beth-El, 305 W. Madison St., South Bend. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that memorial contributions be made in Bender’s honor to the University. Donations should be addressed “In Memory of Harvey A. Bender, University of Notre Dame, 1100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556.”

Condolences may be sent to the Benders at 1100 North Lake Shore Drive, Apartment 28B, Chicago, IL 60611-5212.