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Beznák, Aladár

 

(B. Szatmárnémeti, 31st August, 1901 – D. Montreal, 17th July, 1959)

Dean: 1944/45 second semester

He received his medical degree in Debrecen in 1925. He worked under professor Frigyes Verzár in the Institute of Physiology in Debrecen from 1922 until 1932 when he took his habilitation as privatdozent. He took his readership in the biochemistry of metabolism. From 1922 he went on study trips abroad every year. He visited Gustav Embden in Frankfurt (muscular biochemistry), Max Bergmann in Dresden (organic chemistry), but he worked at universities in Italy and the Institute of Biochemistry in Naples, too. He visited Charles Robert Harington (biochemistry and organic chemistry) and Ernest Henry Starling (experimental operative physiological methods) in London, then professor Sir Fredrick Gowland Hopkins in Cambridge with a Rockefeller stipend in 1925-1927. While professor Verzár worked in Basel between 1930 and 1932, Aladár Beznák was leading the institute as Verzár’s substitute.

After taking a habilitation to become privatdozent, he was invited to the Institute of Pathophysiology in Budapest as professor extraordinarius. He was appointed professor of the Intitute of Physiology in 1935. He was elected corresponding member of the Academy on 30th March, 1945, then regular member on 9th December, 1946. The same year he became the director of the leading Research Institute of Biology in Tihany, which was founded at the time of Klebelsberg. The “left-wing change” emerging in the shadow of the Red Army filled him with well-founded suspicion. After the communist take-over, in 1948, he decided to leave Hungary and go to Stockholm first, then to England from where he emigrated to Canada. He became leader of the Institute of Physiology in Ottawa in 1954. He was excluded from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences on 29th November, 1949 and was rehabilitated only on 9th May, 1989. His main concern was the physiology of metabolism. His research on the physiology of nutrition was significant internationally, too.

Together with his wife, Margit Hortobágyi, he did research into the physiology of adrenal glands and the adaptibility of the heart.

(Major works: Physiology practicals. Debrecen, 1929.; Mechanism of stomach movement. Bp., 1930.; Coordinating functions of the human body. Bp., 1934.; Physiology practicals. Bp., 1936.; Medical physiology I-II., Bp., 1938-41.; Pathophysiology of the adrenal glands. Bp., 1938., Debrecen., 1939.; Public health issues of recent results in nutrition physiology. Bp., 1938,; Vitamins and the nervous system. Bp., 1940.; Medical physiology. Bp., 1941.; The physiology of training. Bp., 1941.; Physiological assessment of foodstuffs /co-author Tihamár Csáky/. Bp., 1942.; Nutrition-physiological assessment of various fats and oils with white rats /co-authors Aladárné Beznák Margit Hortobágyi and István Hajdú/. Bp., 1943.; A Study of the Mechanical Response of Striated Frog’s Muscle in Relation to the Theory of Impulse Transmission by Acetylcholine /with Gáspár-Ráday Zsuzsanna/. Tihany, 1948.)