August 5, 2014 — Jesuit Father Kevin FitzGerald, a professor in the Department of Oncology at the Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., has been appointed by Pope Francis to the Pontifical Council for Culture.
Created by Pope John Paul II in 1982, the Pontifical Council for Culture establishes dialogue between the church and the world’s various cultures, promoting the Christian faith as a creator of culture and source of science, letters and the arts. Advisers on the panel, known as consultors, are nominated for a five-year term and represent nations all over the world.
Fr. FitzGerald received a Ph.D. in molecular genetics and a Ph.D. in bioethics from Georgetown. He currently serves as the Dr. David Lauler Chair of Catholic Health Care Ethics at Georgetown’s Center for Clinical Bioethics. His research efforts focus on the investigation of abnormal gene expression in cancer and on ethical issues in biomedical research.
An expert in his field, Fr. FitzGerald has given presentations around the world and has been interviewed by the news media on topics such as human genomic research, cloning, stem cell research and personalized medicine. He is a founding member of Do No Harm, a member of the ethics committee for the March of Dimes and a member of the Stem Cell Research Commission for the State of Maryland. Additionally, he served as a member of the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society until March 2009.
Other Jesuits serving on the council are Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of the influential Jesuit journal Civiltà Cattolica; and Jesuit Father Paul Béré from Burkina Faso, who teaches and researches biblical sciences at the Jesuit Institute of Theology and the Catholic University of West Africa / University of Abidjan Unit. Former advisers to the Pontifical Council for Culture include Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, D.C.
Watch Fr. FitzGerald describe his work as both a priest and a scientist in the National Jesuit News video below. [Source: Pontifical Council for Culture]