Fray International Sustainability Award

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Dr. Joachim Frank

Joachim Frank

Dr. Joachim Frank is a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and of Biological Sciences at Columbia University, and Distinguished Professor of the State University of New York at Albany. Born and educated in Germany, he received his Diplom in physics from the University of Munich. In his doctoral research, conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, and at the Technical University of Munich, he developed methods of digital image analysis as applied to electron microscopy. In his postdoctoral research, in the United States and at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, U.K., he worked on problems of electron optics and image processing. In 1975 Dr. Frank joined the Wadsworth Center in Albany, New York, as a senior research scientist, where he developed the single-particle reconstruction approach and applied it to the ribosome. He moved in 2008 to take on his current position at Columbia University. Dr. Frank shared the Elizabeth Robert Cole Award of the Biophysics Society with David DeRosier for developing methods of three-dimensional reconstruction of biological macromolecules. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Biophysical Society, and was invited by the Biophysical Society to give the National Lecture in 2005. In 2006 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy for Microbiology. In 2017 he was awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry for the discovery of single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) principle that is a particular image processing method in which the electron microscope’s fuzzy two-dimensional images are analyzed and merged to reveal a sharp three-dimensional structure. Application of this theoretical development Biochemistry is experiencing an explosive development because of cryo-EM.

The application of his discovery made possible the routine production of three-dimensional structures of biomolecules from proteins that cause antibiotic resistance, to the surface of the Zika virus, thus improving the quality of human life.

Dr. Joachim Frank receiving the Fray International Sustainability Award from Dr. Florian Kongoli at FLOGEN SIPS 2023

Dr. Florian Kongoli congratulating Dr. Joachim Frank during the FLOGEN SIPS 2023 award ceremony

Dr. Joachim Frank delivering an acceptance speech during the FLOGEN SIPS 2023 award ceremony

Video of the FLOGEN SIPS 2023 Award ceremony where Dr. Joachim Frank won the Fray International Sustainability Award. The ceremony was hosted by Dr. Florian Kongoli, chairman of FLOGEN.