He was the son of physician Johann Peter Frank. He assisted his father in Pavia and Vienna, and became in 1804 a professor of pathology at Vilnius University.
At Vilnius he founded a vaccination institute (1808), a maternity institute (1809) and an out-patients' clinic (1807). The Vilnius Medical Society was founded on his initiative. He retired in 1824 on account of a disease of the eyes, now thought to be pink eye.