Mario Molina Biography

Chemist, Scientist(1943–)
Mexican-born chemist Mario Molina won a Nobel Prize in 1995 for his research on how man-made compounds affect the ozone layer.


Born in Mexico City in 1943, chemist Mario Molina studied in Mexico and Germany before coming to the United States to study the effects of man-made compounds on the ozone layer. He won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in 1995.


Physical chemist Mario Molina was born on March 19, 1943, in Mexico City, Mexico. Interested in science at an early age, he created his own chemistry lab in a bathroom at his home. After completing his studies in Mexico and Germany, he moved to the United States in 1968 to obtain an advanced degree in physical chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. While at Berkeley, he met Luisa Tan who later became his wife.

He graduated in 1972 and went to the University of California, Irvine in 1973 to continue his research. Molina later went work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the 1980s. In 1989, he joined the faculty at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He left MIT and returned to California in 2004 to teach at the University of California, San Diego.

Nobel Prize-Winning Work

Molina is best known for his study on the effect on Earth's upper atmosphere of man-made compounds. He noted that some compounds, such as chlorofluorocarbons, were having an adverse effect on the ozone layer. Molina shared the 1995 Nobel Prize for Chemistry in recognition of this work.

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