Jens Frahm studied physics at the Georg-August University in Göttingen and received a diploma degree in 1974 and a PhD in physical chemistry in 1977. In 1982 he founded an independent research group “Biomedical NMR” at the MPI for biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen. Until 1992 Frahm received two major grants from the Bundesminister für Forschung und Technologie (now BMBF) as well as financial support from the Volkswagen Foundation for building a dedicated research institute for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on the Max-Planck campus. Since 1993 the Frahm lab operates as a non-profit research company “Biomedizinische NMR Forschungs GmbH” which is financed by its Max-Planck owned MRI patents.
In 1994, Frahm received his “habilitation” from the Georg-August University in Göttingen, where he has been teaching as Adjunct Professor since 1997. He became a Scientific Member of the Max-Planck Society and External Member of the MPI for Dynamics and Self-Organization in 2011.
Frahm is a recipient of the European Magnetic Resonance Award (1989), the Gold Medal of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (1991), the Karl Heinz Beckurts-Award (1993), the State Award of Lower Saxony for Science (1996), the Research Award of the Sobek Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis (2005), the Science Award of the Foundation for German Science (2013), the Niedersachsenprofessur of the State of Lower Saxony (2016), and the Jacob-Henle-Medal of the Göttingen School of Medicine (2017). Since 2005 Frahm is an Ordinary Member of the Academy of Sciences at Göttingen. In 2016 he was elected to the Hall of Fame of German Research.