Skip Navigation

Franklin Paine Mall

Portrait of Franklin Paine Mall
Franklin Paine Mall
Date: 1933
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 42 x 38 in.
Make a Request

Tell Us More

Can you tell us more about this person? Have you spotted an error? Is there information missing? If you have new information to share, please complete the form below.

Franklin Paine Mall


Mall, the first professor of anatomy at Johns Hopkins, was born in Belle Plain, Iowa. He received his M.D. from the University of Michigan in 1883 and for the next three years was involved in postgraduate study in embryology and physiology in Germany, where he met William Welch. Mall came to Baltimore in 1886 as one of Welch's first fellows in pathology.

In collaboration with William Halsted, Mall studied the intestines and also the anatomy and physiology of the stomach, and studied the microscopic structure of connective tissue, which led Halsted to develop a surgical suturing method for the intestine.

Mall left Johns Hopkins in 1889 to become an adjunct professor of vertebrate anatomy at Clark University. From there, he went to the University of Chicago for a year as professor of anatomy before returning to Johns Hopkins in 1893 as the first professor of anatomy at the School of Medicine. He collected human embryos, which led to research on the development of the intestines, body cavities, the diaphragm, and the abdominal walls.

His research included embryology and the relationship between structure and function in adult organs, particularly the spleen, liver, and heart. Mall, together with Welch, conceived the idea of a full-time faculty in medicine with salary support sufficient to allow time for research. In 1913, he appealed to the Carnegie Institution to create a department of embryology that would be housed at Johns Hopkins. He received a $15,000 grant that established the department, which Mall chaired until his death.