Patrick Echlin was a lecturer in the Department of Plant Sciences and Director of the Multi-Imaging Centre, School of Biological Science, University of Cambridge until he retired in 1999.
He has taught for more than thirty-five years at the Lehigh University Microscopy School and is the author and co-author of eight books on scanning electron microscopy and x-ray microanalysis. He was Editor in Chief for the Journal of Microscopy, reviving the journal after years of neglect. He is Past President, an elected Fellow, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society and received the Distinguished Scientist Award in Biological Sciences from the Microscopy Society of America in 2001. He was made a Fellow of the Microscopy Society of America in 2009.
His research has focused on imaging and microanalysis of biological materials at cryogenic temperatures, spanning important aspects of specimen handling, preparation, and artifacts as well as instrumentation including the scanning electron microscope and scanning transmission electron microscope equipped with energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometers.