Jump to main content

Joseph Edward Rall ’40

Biology major

Described as the foremost authority on diseases of the thyroid and one of the preeminent scientists—and scientific mentors—of his generation, Joseph Edward “Ed” Rall, M.D., Ph.D., left quite a legacy. As deputy director of intramural research at the National Institutes of Health (the highest civil service position at the NIH), Rall played a crucial role in funding the research of his younger colleagues. In doing so, he and other scientists at the NIH helped create a global village that nurtured the careers of many young scientists. In the words of one NIH scientist, “Ed thought his only job was to select excellent people, to encourage them and criticize them in positive ways, and let them go.” The Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research, started in 1998, is named for Rall. 

Rall received the North Central College Outstanding Alumni Award in 1966.