Marco Molinaro, Ph.D.

Chief Education Officer for CBST at UC Davis

MarcofaceDr. Marco Molinaro has a dual B.S. in Biophysics and Chemistry from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and a Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. Ever since the early 90's, he has been strongly involved with education at all levels and technology.

From 1994 through 1999, Dr. Molinaro was involved in various national efforts (ModularChem Consortium and ChemConnections) to reform the undergraduate curriculum in chemistry utilizing problem-based approaches and technology. During that period, he spent a year as a research fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, to research faculty use of technology in instruction.

From 1998 through 2003, he was the founder and director of the ScienceVIEW educational multimedia design, research, and development group at the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) at UC Berkeley, specializing in creating multimedia materials aimed at teaching and learning science in formal and informal settings. Between his earlier chemistry work and LHS, he has developed more than 15 major CD-ROM and Internet-based products for teachers, students and families. During his tenure as ScienceVIEW director, he also led various research efforts related to educational technology effectiveness including: learning-optimized use of molecular simulations in the classroom, understanding the potential of computer-based data collection for formative assessment in formal and informal learning environments, and developing usability guidelines for creating age appropriate interactive activities on the Internet. Between 2002-2005 he led the Windows on Research: Focus on Nanotechnology public exhibit project ( aimed at communicating nanoscience to visitors 8-14 years of age.

He is currently focusing his attention to communicating the latest research results, and the science behind them, to students from 5 to 100 in both formal and informal settings with an emphasis on actively engaging participants in “doing” science. Now at UC Davis, he is the Chief Education Officer for the Center for Biophotonics where he is in charge of coordinating all educational activities of the Center including those aimed at K-12, higher education, and the public. One of latest projects is entitled – a biophotonics knowledge base for education, research and industry. 

Dr. Molinaro is a member of the graduate group in the School of Education at UC Davis. His current and on-going research interests involve: social interactions around technology use in informal and formal science settings, methods for facilitating public understanding of research, integrating cutting edge scientific research and researchers with the formal and informal educational enterprises, and approaches to attracting, engaging, and retaining underrepresented students in science.