Carnegie Institution of Washington Department of Embryology
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The Carnegie Institution of Washington's (CIW) Embryology Department was opened in 1914 and remains one of six departments in the CIW. The department quickly became, and remains, world renowned for its many embryonic development discoveries. In 1913 Franklin P. Mall, Professor of Anatomy at Johns Hopkins Medical School, applied for a Carnegie grant to support his research with human embryos. Mall had a collection of over 800 human embryo specimens and was at the point of wanting to do more than just collect. He wanted to study normal and abnormal growth and so began categorizing embryos in a scientific fashion. It soon became apparent that Mall would need funding and a research venue. In 1914 Mall not only received a $15,000 grant from Carnegie, but was also made director of the new Department of Embryology at the CIW. With money, new facilities, a fireproof vault for embryo specimens, and Carnegie's name above the institution's door, Mall brought his extensive embryo collection with him and began obtaining hundreds more human embryos to study. Over the next fifty years, the Department of Embryology would collect and permanently store more than 10,000 embryos.