Dr. Isidor Fankuchen was born in Brooklyn and he graduated from The Cooper Union in 1926. He received his master’s degree and PhD. from Cornell University. He also was awarded a second PhD in 1937 from the Cambridge University in England, where he studied with Sir Lawrence Bragg, the discoverer of X‐ray diffraction and a Nobel Prize winner, and Prof. J. D. Bernal.

He worked as a professor at M.I.T. and at the Anderson Institüte of Biology in Red Wing, MN before becoming a professor at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. One of his most prominent students was Dr. Max Perutz, who won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in the field of proteins and nucleic acids.

From 1950 until the time of his death, Dr. Isidor Fankuchen served as the head of the division of applied physics at Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and was an international authority on X‐ray diffraction. Dr. Fankuchen researched the crystal structures of proteins and nucleic acids and designed new methods of studying crystalline materials at low temperature.

Dr. Isidor Fankuchen received the CUAA Gano Dunn Award in 1965 and was inducted into The Cooper Union Hall of Fame in 2009.


  • Dr. Isidor Fankuchen, 59, Dead; Physicist at Brooklyn Polytech; Teacher and Researcher, an X‐Ray Authority, Headed a Divison at Institute, New York Times. June 29, 1964 Link
  • Donnay, J., Fankuchen, Isidor, Encyclopedia.com, December 22, 2019. Link