Michel Debacker graduated from the Medical School at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (1970) and subsequently completed a residency in internal medicine (1976) with additional training in intensive care (1976) and emergency medicine (1977).
Dr. Debacker is retired from the Belgian Armed Forces, where he served as Director of the Emergency Department (1980-1988) and the Burn Centre (1986-1988) at the Military Hospital Queen Astrid, Brussels and as Assistant Chief of Staff of the Medical Service (1989-1997). He is a former Chairman of the Joint Medical Committee at NATO (1995-1997), Academic Consultant in Disaster Medicine at the Catholic University Leuven (1990-2011), Chairman of the Executive Committee of the European Master in Disaster Medicine (2002-2009) and Director of the Research Committee of the Emergency Management and Disaster Medicine Academy (2009-2011).
He was founder and co-organizer of the Postgraduate Course in Disaster Medicine and Disaster Management at the Catholic University Leuven and the European Master in Disaster Medicine at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Università del Piemonte Orientale.
He is the Director of the Disaster Medicine Unit of the Research Group on Emergency and Disaster Medicine, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He currently serves as a Visiting Professor in Disaster Medicine at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Università del Piemonte Orientale, and a consultant at the Emergency Department of the Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel.
His main interests in disaster medicine include research and evaluation of disaster health management, triage, modelling and simulation of disaster health management.