Wilhelm Carl Heinrich Hueper, M.D. – Silent Spring
Wilhelm Carl Heinrich Hueper, M.D. was a pioneer in cancer research at the National Cancer Institute. 1948 – NCI offered him the position of Chief of the Environmental Career Section. He retired in 1964.
Dr. Hueper produced definitive publications dealing with cancer hazards caused by exposure to air and water pollutants, metals, petroleum derivatives, synthetic hydrogenated coal oils, food additives, food contaminants, cooking fats, and plastics.
Since the early 1920’s, when his scientific career began, Hueper independently has led the way to many important discoveries, have dealt principally with the exogenous causes of human cancers. Thus as a result of his early investigations on the immunologic aspects of leukemia and its production in mice by X-rays, he called attention to the cancer hazards posed by exposure to irradiation.
In 1938, in association with F. H. Wiley and H. D. Wolfe, Hueper induced carcinoma of the bladder of dogs by feeding 2-naphthylamine. The importance of this discovery was memorialized only 28 years later, in 1966, when Mark A. lmmergut reproduced the original communication in his Classical Articles in Urology. Pathologists, it has been said, need to rely upon tools of other disciplines for their research. This has been true of Hueper. For his continuing research on the problems of dye carcinogens he relied on chemistry and metabolism. He showed that 2-amino-1-naphthol, a metabolite of 2-naphthylamine, induced cancer of the bladder when administered to mice. This result pointed the way for subsequent investigations on species-specific metabolic mechanisms and pathways that control the susceptibility of man and laboratory animals to cancer-inducing chemicals.