Stiles, Charles W.

Stiles, Charles W. (Wardell)

(1867–1941) medical zoologist, public health reformer; born in Spring Valley, N.Y. He did his graduate studies at several major European universities before going to Washington, D.C., as a zoologist with the Department of Agriculture's bureau of animal industry (1891–1902); there he investigated diseases in animals in slaughterhouses, pork trichinosis, and parasitic worms in livestock. In 1895 he was one of five elected to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, serving as its secretary from 1898–1936. Transferring to the Hygienic Laboratory of the U.S. Public Health and Marine Hospital Service, he served as chief of its zoology division (1902–31); he also taught medical zoology at Georgetown (1892–1906) and at Johns Hopkins (1897–1937). His major contribution was his discovery of a variety of hookworm and confirming it as endemic in the southern United States (1902); his work led to the formation of the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission (1909) and its campaign to eradicate hookworm disease in the U.S. He investigated the health problems in various work sites and performed experiments on soil pollution caused by pathogens in groundwater. Another of his major contributions—which occupied him from the 1890s to the mid-1930s—was coauthoring the Index-Catalog of Medical and Veterinary Zoology (vols. 1–4, 1902–20; and supplements).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.