Columbia University

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Joachim Frank Awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017

Columbia’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences congratulates Joachim Frank, of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and of Professor of Biological Sciences, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017.  Professor Frank shares the award with Richard Henderson (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK) and Jacques Dubochet (University of Lausanne, Switzerland).

The prize was awarded on October 4, 2017 for Professor Frank’s work on the development of cryo-electron microscopy, creating an image processing method through which thousands of two-dimensional images from an electron microscope are used to create a three-dimensional image at atomic resolution.

Professor Frank joined the Arts and Sciences and Columbia University in 2008 following appointments at the University of California at Berkeley and Cambridge University, among others. Born in Germany during World War II, he received his undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Freiberg and a master’s degree from the University of Munich. Later, he earned a PhD in physics from the Technical University of Munich, where he also taught as a professor.

Professor Frank is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the American Academy for Microbiology, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Biophysical Society. In 2014, he was awarded the Franklin Medal in Life Science by the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. This past year, he was also awarded the prestigious Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences. He was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator from 1998 to 2017.

Please join us in congratulating Professor Frank.


David Madigan
Executive Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences and Professor of Statistics

Peter de Menocal
Dean of Science and Thomas Alva Edison/Con Edison Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences