Joachim Frank, Ph.D.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator
Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, and Department of Biological Sciences
Columbia University

Dr. Frank is a pioneer of EM image reconstruction methods using the single-particle approach to generate 3D structure models. He was trained as a physicist in Germany and went on a Harkness Fellowship to several labs in the USA (JPL, Berkeley Donner Lab, and Cornell, NY).  He pursued his career as a postdoctoral fellow at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge and then, in 1975, joined the Wadsworth Center as Senior Research Scientist.  He joined SUNY Albany as professor of Biomedical Sciences.  In 2008 he moved to Columbia University where he has been a professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, and of Biological Sciences. He is an HHMI Investigator, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and an elected Fellow of the AAAS, the Biophysical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among a number of prestigious prizes he was awarded the Franklin Medal of Life Sciences in 2014. Dr. Frank is best known for his work on the mechanism of translation, as his lab visualized structures of ribosomes arrested in different states, up to his recently determined structure of a eukaryotic ribosome at 2.5 Å resolution. Following the technological revolution in cryo-EM, his lab has more recently also determined high-resolution structures of membrane receptors and ion channels, which are considered to be among the most challenging proteins to work with.

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