Marceli Nencki

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Nencki, Marceli


Born Jan. 15, 1847, in Boćki, Poland; died Oct. 14, 1901, in St. Petersburg. Biochemist and microbiologist.

Nencki graduated from the University of Berlin in 1870. From 1877 to 1890 he was a professor of physiological chemistry and director of the medicochemical institute at the University of Bern. From 1891 he headed the chemistry department at the Institute of Experimental Medicine in St. Petersburg.

Nencki studied the biosynthesis of urea, noted the role of the liver in this biosynthetic process, and with I. P. Pavlov proposed a theory to explain the formation of urea in mammals. Nencki determined the chemical structure of heme, the nonprotein component of hemoglobin. Between 1897 and 1901, Nencki and L. Marchlewski demonstrated the chemical similarity of hemoglobin and chlorophyll. Nencki also studied the chemical composition of certain bacteria, investigated the chemistry of protein decomposition, and developed an effective cure for rinderpest, a disease in cattle.


Opera omnia, vols. 1–2. Braunschweig, 1904.
“O biologicheskikh sootnosheniiakh mezhdu krasiashchim veshchestvom list’ev i krovi.” Arkhiv biologicheskikh nauk, 1897, vol. 5, pp. 304–10.


Engel’gardt, V. A. “M. W. Nencki (K 50-letiiu so dnia smerti).” Biokhimiia, 1951, vol. 16, issue 5.
“Marceli Nencki.” Materiaty biograficzne i bibliograficzne. Warsaw, 1956.
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