Gleb Frank

Frank, Gleb Mikhailovich


Born May 11 (24), 1904, in Nizhny Novgorod (now Gorky); died Oct. 10, 1976, in Moscow. Soviet biophysicist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1966; corresponding member, 1960); corresponding member of the Academy of Medical Sciences (1945). Member of the CPSU from 1947. Brother of I. M. Frank.

Frank graduated from the Crimean University (now the University of Simferopol’) in 1925. He was a staff member of the Leningrad Physicotechnical Institute from 1929 until 1933. Between 1933 and 1946 he was director of the biophysics department of the All-Union Institute of Experimental Medicine. From 1946 to 1948 he headed the Radiation Laboratory, on the basis of which the Institute of Biophysics of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR was established in 1948; he headed the institute from 1948 to 1951. Between 1943 and 1952, Frank served as director of the Laboratory of the Biophysics of Isotopes and Radiation of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, which served as the basis for the founding of the Institute of Biological Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in Moscow in 1952; in 1957 he became director of the institute.

Frank’s principal works dealt with the biological action of ultraviolet radiation and with the biophysics of muscular contraction and neural excitation. He took part in the construction of the first Soviet electron microscope.

The Coordinating Center for Combined Research in Biological Physics was founded on Frank’s initiative. In 1964 he was chosen vice-president of the International Cell Research Organization, which is associated with UNESCO. He was elected to the Council of the International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics in 1961.

Frank became a member of the International Academy of Astronautics in 1966. He was made an honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1973 and of the German Academy of Sciences in 1975.

Frank received the State Prize of the USSR in 1949, 1951, and 1978. He was awarded two Orders of Lenin, four other orders, and various medals.


“Kletochnye struktury i funktsii kletki.” Biofizika, 1970, vol. 15, issue 2.
“Zadachi sovremennoi biofiziki.” Ibid.
“Problemy izucheniia biologicheskikh membran.” Vestnik AN SSSR, 1970, no. 9.