It looks like a current trend to have at least one Max Planck researcher or alumn among the Nobel Prize winners every year. We are happy to congratulate Prof. Joachim Frank (Columbia University) for being awarded the Nobel Prize in the field of Chemistry, thanks to his work on cryo-electron microscopy. For those not familiar with this technique, by freezing biological samples and using electron beams for imaging it is possible to obtain a two-dimensional picture with a fuzzy shape. By collecting thousands of such images it is therefore possible to realize high-resolution, three-dimensional pictures to investigate sub-cellular structures in high detail.

Remarkably, his work is based on the research carried out in the late ’60s as a doctoral student at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Munich.