Frank is the Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics at MIT, where he has been on the faculty since Fall 2000. He has taught courses there ranging from freshman mechanics to advanced seminar series. He currently spends several months each year in Cambridge, and will be giving a workshop course on color perception technology starting in Spring 2018.
Frank is considered one of the world's most eminent theoretical physicists. He is known, among other things, for the discovery of asymptotic freedom, the development of quantum chromodynamics, the invention of axions, and the discovery and exploitation of new forms of quantum statistics (anyons).
When only 21 years old and a graduate student at Princeton University, in work with David Gross he defined the properties of color gluons, which hold atomic nuclei together. He taught at Princeton from 1974–81. During the period 1981–88, he was the Chancellor Robert Huttenback Professor of Physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the first permanent member of the National Science Foundation's Institute for Theoretical Physics.
In the fall of 2000, he moved from the Institute for Advanced Study, where he was the J.R. Oppenheimer Professor, to the MIT Department of Physics, where he is the Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics. Since 2002, he has been an Adjunct Professor in the Centro de Estudios Científicos of Valdivia, Chile.