Theo developed his passion for chemistry during high school and participated in chemistry competitions; he won two silver medals at the International Chemistry Olympiads as part of the Romanian team. While an undergraduate at MIT, he worked with Professor Christopher C. Cummins for more that three and a half years on atom and fragment transfer chemistry involving metal complexes, on titanium-ketyl radical chemistry, and on DFT computations to detail the electronic structure of synthesized complexes. At graduation, he received the Chemistry Department's Alpha Chi Sigma Award for achievement in research, scholarship, and service to the department. At Caltech, Theo worked under the tutelage of Professor John E. Bercaw on mechanistic and synthetic aspects of chromium-based olefin oligomerization catalysis and on developing new early transition metal nonmetallocene olefin polymerization catalysts. His . thesis received Caltech's Chemistry Department Herbert Newby McCoy Award for outstanding contribution to the science of chemistry. Upon graduation, in May 2007, Theo moved to UC Berkeley to work with Professor Michael A. Marletta as a Miller Institute Fellow. There, he focused on mechanistic aspects of biochemical nitric oxide synthesis involving the metalloprotein nitric oxide synthase.