Advanced Photon Source

An Office of Science National User Facility

APSUO Franklin Award

About the Franklin Award

In 2004, in conjunction with the Advanced Photon Source, the APS Users Organization established the APSUO Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award to recognize an important scientific or technical accomplishment by a young investigator (senior graduate student or within two years of his or her PhD. degree) that was accomplished at or strongly beneficial to the APS.

The award, which consists of a plaque and a monetary award of $1000, will be presented at the annual Users Meeting in alternate years. The recipient of the award will also be asked to present a 20-minute lecture on his/her research in the APS plenary session.

About Rosalind Franklin

The brilliant but short-lived chemist Rosalind Franklin played a critical but largely unacknowledged role in the discovery of the structure of DNA. While working as a research associate for John Randall at King's College in 1951, Franklin was assigned to study the unwieldy DNA molecule with x-ray crystallography--a technique only just beginning to be used for biological molecules. Her results revealed the position of the sugar-phosphate backbone and the basic helical structure of the molecule; when her x-ray photographs filtered unofficially to John Watson at Cambridge, he immediately saw their implications. Franklin went on to work on the tobacco mosaic virus and the polio virus, but her career came to an untimely end when she died of cancer in 1958 at age 37. More information on Franklin is at

 Current Winner

Li was recognized for his work using high-resolution synchrotron-based tomography techniques to develop a fundamental understanding of the mechanical and multifunctional design of biological materials.

April 25, 2016 — The APS Users Organization is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2016 APSUO Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award is Ling Li, from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Technology, Harvard University.

 Past Winners


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