S.P. Beebe

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Silas Palmer Beebe, M.D., PhD (April 22, 1876 – December 6, 1930) an early pioneer in the field of cancer research and the pathology of the disease.

Life and times[edit]

Silas Palmer Beebe, also known as S.P. Beebe was born in 1876 in St. Johns, Michigan the son of Aram Beebe, a farmer and justice of the peace and Emma Lucretia (Beebe) Beebe. His father Aram was the son of Paphiras and Lucy (Day) Beebe, of Winhall, Vermont, and Holley, New York. His mother, Emma was the daughter of Sylvester and Abby Anne (Vincent) Beebe, of Union City, Pennsylvania, and St. Johns, Michigan. Beebe was married to Mary Elizabeth on February 8, 1896 in Valparaiso, Indiana. Mary was the daughter of Elisha and Mary Elizabeth (Page) Whitney. They had four children: Doris; Ruth; Palmer (B.A. University of Michigan 1929); and Shaler (March 14, 1911 – 1927). The couple were divorced in 1916.[1] Beebe married a second time on November 25, 1930 in Great Neck, New York, to Sabina, daughter of Dennis and Brigid (Purcell) McCarthy. Beebe was a member of the First Unitarian Church in Flushing, New York. Beebe died in 1930 due to chronic myocarditis and pneumonia. Beebe was cremated and his ashes were buried on his farm at Hampton, New Jersey.[2]

Education and career[edit]

In 1896 Beebe received a B.S. from Valparaiso College, then went to South Dakota to teach from 1896–1897. He attended Harvard from 1897–1900 and graduated in 1900 with a B.S. magna cum laude. Beebe then studied at Yale Graduate School from 1900–1904 and received the M.S. in 1902 and PhD in 1904. From 1900–1903 he was an instructor in chemistry at New Haven High School and was on the teaching staff of the Harvard Summer School of Physical Education from 1902–1904 and gave instruction in courses on the chemistry of nutrition. From 1904–1907 Beebe held the position as physiological chemist under the Huntington Fund for Cancer Research at Loomis Laboratory for Research in Experimental Pathology in New York City. He attended Cornell Medical School from 1905–1909 and received his M.D. in 1909. From 1907–1908 he worked as a research assistant in experimental pathology. From 1909–1914 held the position of Professor of experimental therapeutics. Beebe practiced medicine in New York, and specialized in thyroid physiology and directed his own laboratory. From 1912–1915 Beebe was a member of the medical board of Memorial Hospital.

Beebe leaves Cornell[edit]

Dr. Silas P. Beebe has been eliminated from the Faculty of Cornell University Medical College, according to a statement made yesterday by the Dean, Dr. William M. Polk, on account of his alleged "commercial exploitation" of autolysin, sold as a remedy for cancer.[3]

Beebe and James Ewing[edit]

In 1898 Dr. Beebe worked with Dr. James Ewing a leading pathologist working at the Loomis Laboratory for Research in Experimental Pathology. The Loomis Laboratory was founded in 1886 at Cornell Medical College in New York City with an emphasis on undergraduate instruction and graduate research. Working at the Loomis Lab, Beebe and Ewing produced a report in 1906 on the lymphosarcoma of dogs.[4][5][6]

Professional associations[edit]


  • Beebe, Silas Palmer. (1904). Outlines of Physiological Chemistry. Macmillan.
  • Beebe, S. P. (1904). THE CHEMISTRY OF MALIGNANT GROWTHS.—FIRST COMMUNICATION. American Journal of Physiology. Legacy Content. 11(2): 139–144.
  • Beebe, S. P. (1904). THE CHEMISTRY OF MALIGNANT GROWTHS. II.—THE INORGANIC CONSTITUENTS OF TUMORS. American Journal of Physiology. Legacy Content, 12(2): 167–172.
  • Beebe, S. P. (1905). Cytotoxic serum produced by the injection of nucleoproteids. The Journal of experimental medicine, 7(6): 733–750.
  • Beebe, S. P., and Philip Shaffer. (1905). "The chemistry of malignant growths. IV. The pentose content of tumors." Amer. Journal of physiol., Bd 14: 231–238.
  • Beebe, S. P. (1905). Some observations on the path. chem. of tumors. Proc. of the New York Path. Society. (4): 109.
  • Beebe, S. P., and James Ewing. (1906). "A study of the biology of tumour cells. "The British Medical Journal": 1559–1560.
  • Ewing, J., & Beebe, S. P. (1906). A study of the so-called infectious lympho-sarcoma of dogs. Journal of Med. Research. 10:209.
  • Beebe, S. P. (1906). PREPARATION OF A SERUM FOR THE TREATMENT OF EXOPHTHALMIC GOITER. Journal of the American Medical Association, 46(7): 484–487.
  • Beebe, S. P., and Martha Tracy. (1907). "THE TREATMENT OF EXPERIMENTAL TUMORS WITH BACTERIAL TOXINS." Publications of Cornell University Medical College: Studies from the Departments of Pathology, Bacteriology and Immunology, Public Health & Preventive Medicine. 7: 397.
  • Rogers, John, and S. P. Beebe. (1908). "THE TREATMENT OF THYROIDISM BY A SPECIFIC CYTOTOXIC SERUM." Medical and surgical report of Bellevue and allied hospitals in the city of New York.... 3: 153.
  • Crile, Geo W., and S. P. Beebe. (1908). "Transfusion of blood in the transplantable lymphosarcoma of dogs." The Journal of medical research. 18(3): 385.
  • Berkeley, Wm N., and S. P. Beebe. (1909). "A contribution to the physiology and chemistry of the parathyroid gland." The Journal of medical research. 20(2): 149.
  • Beebe, S. P. (1911). Present Knowledge of Thyroid Function. Journal of the American Medical Association. 56(9): 658–660.
  • Van Alstyne, Eleanor Van Ness, and S. P. Beebe. (1913). "Diet Studies in transplantable Tumors: I. The Effect of non-carbohydrate Diet upon the Growth of transplantable Sarcoma in Rats." The Journal of medical research 29(2): 217.
  • Beebe, S. (1914). The Nerve Control of the Thyroid Gland.
  • Beebe, S. P. (1915). The serum treatment of hyperthyroidism. Journal of the American Medical Association. 64(5): 413–422.
  • Beebe, S. P. (1918). Thyroid disease and the war. Med. Rec. (93); 237–238.
  • Beebe, S. P. (1921). Iodine in the treatment of goiter. Med. Rec. (99): 996–999.


  1. ^ Beebe v. Beebe. New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department. September 29, 1916.
  2. ^ Bulletin of Yale University. (December 1, 1931). Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale University, Deceased during the Year 1930–1931. New Haven.
  3. ^ NY Times. (October 21, 1915). CANCER REMEDY PUTS BEBEE OUT OF CORNELL; College Objects to Doctor's Exploitation of Autolysin and Ends His Department.
  4. ^ Triolo, Victor A. and Riegel, Ilse L. (1961). The American Association for Cancer Research, 1907–1940: Historical Review. Cancer Research. 21:137–167.
  5. ^ Beebe, S. P., and James Ewing. (1906). "A study of the biology of tumour cells. "The British Medical Journal": 1559–1560.
  6. ^ Ewing, J., & Beebe, S. P. (1906). A study of the so-called infectious lympho-sarcoma of dogs. Journal of Med. Research. 10:209.