Mario J. Molina (born March 19, 1943) was awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his role in elucidating the threat to the Earth's ozone layer of chlorofluorocarbon gases (or CFCs). This Nobel Prize was shared with Paul J. Crutzen of UCSD and F. Sherwood Rowland of UC Irvine. Until recently he was an Institute Professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at MIT.
Molina was born in Mexico City, son of Roberto Molina Pasquel, a lawyer, and Leonor Henriquez de Molina.
Molina earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico in 1965, a postgraduate degree from the University of Freiburg, West Germany in 1967 and a doctoral degree in physical chemistry from UC Berkeley, California in 1972. In 1974, as a postdoctoral researcher at UC Irvine, he coauthored a paper that detailed their research on the threat of CFCs on the ozone layer in the stratosphere. At the time, CFCs where widely used as chemical propellants and refrigerants. This research played a substantial role is the worldwide elimination of CFCs from aerosol cans and refrigerators, and it is for this work that he later shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
In July 1973, Molina married Luisa Tan, who he met while working in Berkeley.
Between 1974 and 2004 he variously held research and teaching posts at UC Irvine, the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. On July 1, 2004 Molina joins the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCSD and the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Molina is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Science, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine. He serves on the boards of several environmental organizations, and also sits on a number of scientific committees including the U.S. President's Committee of Advisors in Science and Technology.
- Mario Molina (http://www-eaps.mit.edu/molina)
- Nobel Institute 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (http://www.nobel.se/chemistry/laureates/1995/index.html)
- Nobel Institute Autobiography (http://www.nobel.se/chemistry/laureates/1995/molina-autobio.html)