Dr. Antonino Cucchiara, Ph.D.

NASA Astronaut

Dr. Antonino (Nino) Cucchiara is the Lead Program Scientist for the Future Investigator in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) student research grants program. He is also the deputy Program Scientist for the Fermi mission which focuses on the detection of some of the most energetic and catastrophic events in the Universe. He joined NASA Astrophysics Division in April 2022.

Other duties include participation in NASA Time Domain and Multi-Messenger Astronomy (TDAMM) activities and the Astrophysics Division Inclusion Diversity Equity and Accessibility working group.

He received is B.S. and M.S. in Physics from the University of Milan, in Italy, and his Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from PennState University. After that he continue his research at UC Berkeley, US Santa Cruz, and at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as NASA Postdoctoral program Fellow.

His research topics include the study of Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs), the most explosive and energetic events produce by stars, the chemistry of the Universe, and the identification of the very first stars ever formed. His expertise span from ground based to spaced based observatories, imaging and spectroscopy techniques from UV to infrared wavelengths.

Before arriving to NASA headquarter Dr. Cucchiara was a faculty at College of Marin, California, and prior to that he was one of the architects of the newly developed Bachelor of Science in Physics at the University of the Virgin Islands. In this latter role he was the awardee of many federal funded grants, including NASA, NSF, and the Department of Defense.