Bacq, Zénon Marcel

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Bacq, Zénon Marcel


Born Dec. 31, 1903. Belgian physiologist, pharmacologist, and radiobiologist. Foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1958).

Bacq graduated from the medical school of the University of Brussels (1927). During the years 1932–34 he was assistant professor and from 1934 professor at the University of Liege. His work is in the area of the toxicology and biochemistry of nervous processes. During the years 1941–45 he studied the effects of chemical warfare agents on animal organisms. During the postwar years he worked on the preparation of various chemical means of prophylaxis against radiation sickness; he established that cystamine and its products are effective as protection against radiation. He proposed biological tests to determine the influence of small doses of radiation on the organism. He postulated a hypothesis according to which enzymes, which are usually firmly bound to the structural elements of the cell, are released when irradiated and exhibit “activity” in the cellular and intercellular fluids. Bacq founded a school of radiobiologists and pathologists.


L’acétylcholine et l’ adrénaline, 2nd ed. Paris, 1947. (Bibliography.)
Fundamentals of Radiobiology. London, 1955. (Written jointly with P. Alexander.)
In Russian translation:
Khimicheskaia zashchita ot ioniziruiushchei radiatsiii. Moscow, 1968.