Zare is the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science, Stanford University. His research is in the area of laser chemistry, resulting in a greater understanding of chemical reactions at the molecular level and contributing very significantly to solving a variety of problems in chemical analysis. His development of laser induced fluorescence has been widely adopted in other laboratories. Awards include the US National Medal of Science (1983), the Welch Award in Chemistry (1999), the Wolf Prize in Chemistry (2005), the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Basic Sciences (2010), and the King Faisal International Prize in Science (2011). His memberships include the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society, the Swedish Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Indian Academy of Sciences.