Professor Frank trained in Medicine and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto, in Family Medicine at McMaster University, and in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He has been Professor (now Emeritus) at the University of Toronto, at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, since 1983; founding Director of Research at the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto from 1991 to 1997; and inaugural Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Population and Public Health (2000-2008).
In July 2008, he became Director of a new Edinburgh-based Unit, funded by the Medical Research Council and the Scottish Chief Scientist Office: the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy. The Collaboration seeks to develop and robustly test novel public health policies and programs to equitably improve health status in Scotland, through the convening and ongoing support of researcher/research-user consortia. He holds a Chair in Public Health Research and Policy at the University of Edinburgh. In 2013 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in recognition of his scholarly contributions.