Wesbrook, Frank Fairchild


Dates:         b. 1868; 1895 to MN; 1913 to UBD; d. 1918

Locations:    Prof. of Pathology and Bacteriology, (1895‑1906); Dir. Bacteriological Laboratory, Minn. State Board of Health (late 1890's‑1900's); Dean, Medical School of Univ. of Minnesota (1906‑1913); Dir. State Dept. of Health (1910‑1913); Advisory Board Member of the Hygienic Laboratory of the USPHS; Pres. Univ. of British Columbia (1913‑)

Training:      BS Univ. of Manitoba; MA; MD Medical College of Manitoba; five years at Cambridge Univ. and Marburg under Frankel

Fields:        water; biology; public health

Publications: "Laboratory Methods and Devices," J. Infect. Dis. Supp. 1 (1905): 304‑324; Wesbrook, McDaniel and L.B. Wilson, "Varieties of Bacillus diptheriae," Trans. Assoc. Am. Phys. 15 (1900): 198‑223; Wesbrook, H.A. Whittaker, and B.M. Mohler, "The Resistance of Certain Bacteria to Calcium Hypochlorite," J. Am. Pub. Health Assoc. 1 (Feb. 1911).

SAB Involvement:  APHA pres. 1905; Charter Member of SAB;

Archive Files: Clark, Pioneer Microbiologists of America (Madison:  Univ. of Wisc. Press, 1961), 275; DAB



     Wesbrook succeeded Frost as the Assist. for the St. Board of Health.  First to offer formal courses in bacteriology at UM.  As state dept. of health director, he performed routine bacteriological work only if it could be utilized for research.  In other words, all samples had to be properly labeled, and further samples had to be available.  Work in 1890's primarily on animal diseases, such as Bacillus anthracis, and the aerobic sporeformers, rabies, and infectious anemia of horses.  Wesbrook also studied the diphtheria group, suggesting a scheme of relation between the diverse morphological types of diphtheria bacilli, with an eye toward correlating the forms to pathogenicity.  He claimed that the rapidly growing bacilli with clubbed ends and polar granules are supposed to be the virulent forms.

     His work on chlorination led him to investigate variability, as some strains of typhoid bacilli were more resistant to chlorination, yet less virulent.

     In 1900, McDaniel and Wesbrook published a valuable classification of the several morphological types of the diphtheria bacilli (Transactions of the Association of American Physicians 15:198-223)