Rado Danev (b. 1973) is a physicist interested in the development and application of new methods in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). He studied solid-state physics (1991-1997) at Sofia University in Bulgaria. In 1998 he obtained a Japanese government Monbusho scholarship and begun his doctoral research in the laboratory of Prof. Nagayama at the National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS), Okazaki, Japan. During his Ph.D. (1998-2001) he worked on the development of phase plates for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and produced the first practically usable phase plate – the thin film Zernike phase plate. After his graduation, he continued work at NIPS on the application of phase plates to biological TEM and cryo-EM. In 2006 he became an Assistant Professor at NIPS and soon after (2007) was awarded the Japanese ministry of education Science and Technology Award. He published the first successful phase plate applications in cryo-EM single particle analysis and cryo-tomography. In 2011 he became a group leader in the department of Prof. Baumeister at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany. In the same year he was awarded the Burton Medal of the Microscopy Society of America. Rado was the project leader of an academia-industry collaboration between the Baumeister department and the FEI company. The goal of the collaboration was to develop a high-performance phase plate and it led to the invention of the Volta phase plate. In 2017 Rado was awarded the Ernst Ruska prize of the German Society for Electron Microscopy.