Aleksandr Gurvich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gurvich, Aleksandr Gavrilovich


Born Sept. 27 (Oct. 9), 1874, in Poltava; died July 27, 1954, in Moscow. Soviet biologist.

After graduating from the University of Munich in 1897, Gurvich worked in Strasbourg and Bern. He was a professor at the Advanced Courses for Women in St. Petersburg (1907–18), the university in Simferopol’ (from 1918), and Moscow University (1925–30). From 1930 to 1948 he worked at the All-Union Institute of Experimental Medicine. His main research was in the fields of cytology, embryology, biophysics, and theoretical biology. In 1923 he discovered mitogenetic rays, ultraweak ultraviolet radiation of some living tissues, and chemical reactions which stimulate cell division. He used them to analyze the physicochemical states of cells under normal and pathological conditions. He developed the biological field theory to account for the directed and ordered development and functioning of organisms. He introduced the concept of nonequilibrium molecular structures of living protoplasm as the basis of protoplasm’s physiological reactivity. Gurvich received the State Prize of the USSR (1941) and was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.


Teoriia biologicheskogo polia. Moscow, 1944.
Mitogeneticheskoe izluchenie [3rd ed.]. Moscow, 1945.


Bliakher, L., and S. Zalkind. “Aleksandr Gavrilovich Gurvich.” Biul. Moskovskogo obshchestva ispytatelei prirody: Otdel biologii, 1955, vol. 60, issue 4.
Aleksandr Gavrilovich Gurvich. Moscow, 1970. (Contains a bibliography.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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