Frank, Joachim

Frank, Joachim, 1940–, German-American physicist and biochemist, b. Siegen, Germany, Ph.D., Technical Univ. of Munich 1970. He became a U.S. citizen in 1997. Following several postdoctoral appointments, Frank joined the New York State Department of Health as a researcher in 1977. From 1977 to 2003, he was a professor at the State Univ. of New York at Albany. In 2003, he joined the faculty at Columbia. With Jacques Dubochet and Richard Henderson, Frank was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2017 for work in developing cryo-electron microscopy, which permits the high-resolution determination of the structure of biomolecules in solution. Between 1975 and 1986, Frank developed a digital analysis technique that merged previously fuzzy two-dimensional images generated using electron microscopy to produce images that revealed clear three-dimensional structures. Frank has used his cryo-electron microscopy to study how cell ribosomes interact with other molecules.

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