Andrei Tokmakoff earned his B.S. in Chemistry from California State University in 1988. He went on to earn an M.S. and Ph.D., both in Chemistry and from Stanford University, in 1991 and 1995. He became an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at Technical University Munich from 1995-96. Then, he was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Chicago, University of California Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In 1998, he became a professor at MIT, eventually becoming Robert T. Haslam and Bradley Dewey Professor of Chemistry in 2012. He now serves as Henry G. Dale Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago.
Tokmakoff is a Fellow of OSA. He has received many awards, including the Coblentz Award, the National Fresenius Award, the Earle K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy & Dynamics, and the 2014 Ellis R. Lippincott Award from OSA.