Franklin C. McLean

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Dr. Franklin C. McLean
Black-and-white photo of gray-haired man in front profile wearing suit.
Franklin Chambers McLean (1966)
Franklin Chambers McLean

February 29, 1888
Maroa, Illinois
DiedSeptember 10, 1968
Chicago, Illinois
OccupationAmerican Physician
Known for • University of Chicago Medical Clinics -Director, Professor & Chairman for the Department of Medicine
 • National Medical Fellowships -Founder
 • The Franklin C. McLean Scholarship Award

Franklin Chambers McLean (1888 - September 10, 1968) was a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Medicine and the first appointed Director of the University of Chicago Medical Clinics,[1] as well as the founder of the National Medical Fellowships.[2] He aided the Manhattan Project by studying effects of radiation on organisms.[3] He was also a trustee of the Julius Rosenwald Fund[4] and Fisk University.

McLean was also a founder of the Peking Union Medical College.[5] He was instrumental in solving complex social and ethical issues during the era of discrimination and segregation in the United States.[1] A scholarship has been established in his name - the Franklin C. McLean Award.[6] This award is given to medical students of minority background.

Early life[edit]

McLean was born February 29, 1888, in Maroa, Illinois. The son and grandson of physicians, he received a B.S. degree from the University of Chicago in 1907, his M.D. from Rush Medical College in 1910, his M.S. degree in 1912 and his Ph.D. degree in 1915. Among his teachers was Anton Julius Carlson. During graduate studies he interned at Cook County Hospital, studied at the University of Graz as well as Vienna, along with several other responsibilities. While in China, he met a fellow medical doctor named Helen Vincent whom he married in 1923.

Early career[edit]

McLean became a professor of pharmacology and materia medica in 1911 at the University of Oregon. He stayed in this position until 1914. He then moved on to assistant resident at the Hospital of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York.[7] In 1916 the Rockefeller Foundation sponsored his trips to China to found the Peking Union Medical College. He was appointed Director of the college,[8] but did not stay for any length of time until 1920 due to his active army duty during World War I. In 1919 he returned to plan the layout of buildings and medical laboratories that were completed in 1921. McLean resigned his administrative duties in 1920, but remained chairman and professor of medicine until 1923, upon returning to the U.S.

University of Chicago[edit]

In 1923 McLean was invited to direct the new medical school envisioned by the University of Chicago and set forth planning, overseeing and raising the funds necessary.[9] The medical school opened in 1927. McLean served as its first vice-chairman of the faculty and the chairman of the Department of Medicine. In 1929 he resigned the department chair so as to assume the title of Director of University Clinics and Assistant to the President in Medical Affairs. In 1932 he was forced to resign, leaving behind all administrative duties. He easily shifted back to his research and continued to make many advancements in medicine. McLean was made Professor Emeritus in 1953, but continued his work, which included publishing.[9]


McLean died on September 10, 1968, at the former Billings Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.

Notable works[edit]

  • Bone: An introduction to the physiology of skeletal tissue, (The Scientist's library: Biology and medicine) by Franklin C McLean. Chicago U.P. (1st ed 1955; 3rd ed 1968 ISBN 0-226-56073-2)
  • Radioisotopes and bone: a symposium organized by the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences established under the joint auspices of UNESCO & WHO. Edited under the direction of Franklin C. McLean by P. Lacroix & Ann M. Bundy. Blackwell (1962)
  • Calcium and phosphorus metabolism in man and animals with special reference to pregnancy and lactation. Conference chairman Franklin C. McLean, organizing chairman and consulting editor Robert R. Marshak. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences v.64, art.30 (1956)


  1. ^ a b "University of Chicago Faculty - A Centennial View: Franklin C. McLean, Medicine". University of Chicago Centennial Catalogs. Retrieved 2011-12-14.
  2. ^ "Fellowships Changing The Face Of Medicine". The New York Times. 1996-11-03. Retrieved 2011-12-14.
  3. ^ Committee on Medical Sciences and Research Development Board, Department of Defense, Washington 25, D.C. "Ad hoc working group on Biomedical Participation on future atomic weapons tests of the Joint Panel on Medical Aspects of Atomic Warfare". The George Washington University. Retrieved 2011-12-14.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Edwin R. Embree; President of the Fund (1936). "Julius Rosenwald Fund - A Review of Two Decades 1917-1936". Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  5. ^ National Medical Fellowships. "History". Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  6. ^ Copyright © 2006-2012 by Wintergreen Orchard House. "Franklin C. McLean Award". Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation. Retrieved December 14, 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ McLean, Franklin C. (January 17, 1960). "Annual Review, Physiology and Medicine: A Transition Period". Annual Review of Physiology. 22. Annual Reviews Inc. doi:10.1146/
  8. ^ The Rockefeller Foundation (1916). Annual Report. Vol. 3–4. p. 227. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  9. ^ a b McLean, Franklin C. (1881–1969). "Guide to the Franklin C. McLean Papers - Biographical Note". Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library. Retrieved 2011-12-14.