PARIS -- Jean Bernard, whose research on blood disease helped to found the discipline of hematology, died April 17, his family said. He was 98.
''Our country has lost a great doctor and a pioneering spirit," President Jacques Chirac wrote in letter of condolence to Mr. Bernard's family.
Born in Paris in 1907, Dr. Bernard earned his medical degree in 1936.
After the outbreak of World War II, he moved to southeastern France, where he fought in the Resistance movement against German occupation. In 1943, he was captured by the Nazis and spent six months in a prison near Paris.
After his release several days before V-E Day, Dr. Bernard worked at several hospitals and eventually became head of the hematology department at Paris's Saint Louis Hospital.
In 1961, he became the director of a research institute dedicated to leukemia and blood diseases and later headed France's national committee on bioethics.
He was also a member of the prestigious French Academy.