About Dr. Jeff Vinokur
Short Bio For Media.
Jeff Vinokur, 33, holds a PhD in "Biochemistry, Molecular, and Structural Biology" from UCLA, is an Emmy-nominated host of educational science videos for kids, and has performed science experiments on Good Morning America, The Today Show, and the Discovery Channel. Dr. Jeff also has over 25 million YouTube views as a hip-hop dancer. His live stage show has toured 7 times with presentations at the World Science Festival, the Smithsonian Institution, and over 400 schools nationwide.
To bring his passion for science to as many kids as possible, in 2017, Dr. Jeff founded Generation Genius, an educational streaming service now used in more than 30% of elementary schools in the US. All of the science videos on Generation Genius feature Dr. Jeff as the host. In 2023, TIME Magazine included Generation Genius and a picture of Dr. Jeff on its TIME100 list of most influential companies in the world.
Dr. Jeff has also invented science toys found in Target, appeared in a Superbowl commercial, and conducted cutting-edge research on biofuels. His science credits include a full scholarship at UCLA, prestigious fellowships from the National Science Foundation, and an impressive track record of scientific publications.
Extended Bio For Kids.
Dr. Jeff grew up in Montvale, NJ and was unofficially diagnosed with a rare condition called “Mad Scientist Syndrome.” He claims this is the reason for his passion for science since birth.
BEGINNINGS. Jeff has always been passionate about science. Starting from collecting bugs as a kid, to mixing kitchen chemicals during middle school, building robots in high school, and then conducting biofuels research in college, Jeff is so crazy about science that he had a homemade chemistry lab in his garage at age 14, and received a Biochemistry textbook for his 17th birthday. He went to college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying Biochemistry and hoped to become a professor of Biochemistry.
DANCE. In 2007, life threw a challenge his way, Jeff's parents were separating and he began learning to dance as a positive outlet to relieve stress. He began practicing daily after school and in less than three years, Jeff's own dance videos had over 10 million views and he made at the time, the #1 most-watched popping tutorials in the world so that other people could learn too. In college, Dr. Jeff started a dance crew called Rhythm Per Second.
COMBINING DANCE AND SCIENCE. Before 2010, Jeff was a “Scientist by day, and a dancer by night” until an airplane ride next to a talkative stranger helped him realize that he could combine science and dance into a high-energy performance. Jeff premiered as the "Dancing Scientist" on Season 5 of NBC's America's Got Talent where he advanced to the Top 100 acts in Las Vegas out of 70,000 nationwide auditions. In the end, he was only shown for a few seconds. Unwilling to give up, Jeff turned his 90-second act into a 50-minute science assembly and started touring schools in 2011. Since then, his live shows have been performed over 400 times and featured at the USA Science & Engineering Festival, World Science Festival, Smithsonian Discovery Theater, Singapore Science Festival, and more.
GRADUATE SCHOOL. Dr. Jeff continued performing at schools and festivals while a graduate student at UCLA. He earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 2017 on a full scholarship. He was a Dean's Scholar at UCLA and a recipient of the prestigious National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship. His specialty was studying biofuels, which are liquid fuels that are made from plants.
TELEVISION SHOWS. Dr. Jeff began performing science experiments on TV shows when he was in college. He has appeared 11 times on the Discovery Channel, as well as Good Morning America (ABC), The Today Show (NBC), The View (ABC), Rachael Ray (ABC), The Queen Latifah Show (CBS), Home & Family (Hallmark Channel), Fox & Friends (Fox News Channel), AMHQ (The Weather Channel) and dozens of local news features.
GENERATION GENIUS. After completing his Ph.D. in 2017, Dr. Jeff created Generation Genius (www.GenerationGenius.com), an educational streaming service now used by more than 30% of schools in the United States. All the videos are made in partnership with the National Science Teachers Association and come with teacher materials like discussion questions and quiz games. In 2023, Jeff won a national Emmy award in the category of "Outstanding Interactive Media." Generation Genius was also featured on TIME Magazine's TIME100 list of the most influential companies in the world for 2023. These days Dr. Jeff is focused on making more educational videos for Generation Genius and growing it to reach as many schools as possible. He looks forward to returning to school assemblies one day -- maybe at your school.