Joachim Frank Wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry

October 04, 2017

Dear fellow members of the Columbia Community:

I write to share the wonderful news that Columbia Professor Joachim Frank has won this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Congratulations, first and foremost, to Professor Frank, who shares this year’s prize with scientists Richard Henderson of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England and Jacques Dubochet of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

A Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and of Biological Sciences, Professor Frank is the second member of our Department of Biological Sciences to share in the Chemistry Prize in the past decade. Professor Martin Chalfie was a 2008 Nobel Laureate for his pioneering research for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein.

From his lab in the Black Building at Columbia University Medical Center, Professor Frank was previously the winner of the 2017 Wiley Prize and the 2014 Franklin Medal for the methods he devised to turn images taken by electron microscopes of thousands of individual molecules at different angles into a finely detailed three dimensional representation, allowing all protein molecules of life to be seen.

Professor Frank joins more than 80 past and present Columbia faculty members and alumni over the years who have been awarded Nobel Prizes in a wide variety of disciplines, from neuroscience to economics.

This year’s prize is a testament to the excellence of our biomedical research, which brings together faculty members across both our Medical Center and Morningside campuses. But today is Joachim Frank’s day and we are proud to have him as our newest Columbia Nobel Laureate.


Lee C. Bollinger