Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa

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Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa
ALFREDO QUIÑONEZ (17148621101).jpg
Born (1968-01-02) January 2, 1968 (age 53)
NationalityMexican American
CitizenshipUnited States
Scientific career
InstitutionsMayo Clinic; previously Johns Hopkins

Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa (also known as "Dr. Q") is a Mexican neurosurgeon, author, and researcher. Currently, he is the William J. and Charles H. Mayo Professor and Chair of Neurologic Surgery and runs a basic science research lab at the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville in Florida. In recognition of his work, Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa has received many awards and honors, including being named as one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the U.S. by Hispanic Business Journal in 2008; as 2014 Neurosurgeon of the Year by Voices Against Brain Cancer, where he was also recognized with the Gary Lichtenstein Humanitarian Award; and by the 2015 Forbes magazine as one of Mexico's most brilliant minds in the world.

In addition, he is an editorial board member and reviewer for several prominent publications. Most notably, Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa is the editor-in-chief for one of the most well-respected and widely read operative neurosurgical textbooks in the world – Schmidek and Sweet's Operative Neurosurgical Techniques (6th edition). As well, he is one of the authors for Controversies in Neuro-Oncology, which was awarded first prize by the British Medical Association. Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa also has published an autobiography, Becoming Dr. Q, about his journey from migrant farm worker to neurosurgeon, and recently Disney with Plan B Entertainment productions announced that his inspirational life story is going to be featured in a movie.[1]

Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa is co-founder and serves as president of Mission: BRAIN, Bridging Resources and Advancing International Neurosurgery, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation.

Early years[edit]

Quiñones was born in Mexicali, Baja California, México.[2] In 1987, at the age of 19, Quiñones-Hinojosa went to the United States.[3][4][5] Once arriving in the United States, Quiñones could not speak English and worked on farms outside of Fresno, California. As a farm hand, he saved enough money to take English classes.[6]


Quiñones-Hinojosa started his education at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, California. He completed his bachelor's degree in psychology with the highest honors at University of California, Berkeley.[4] He then went on to receive his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, where he graduated with honors. He also became a US citizen during this time.[6] He then completed his residency in neurosurgery at the University of California, San Francisco, where he also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in developmental and stem cell biology at the laboratory of Professor Arturo Alvarez-Buylla.

Professional career[edit]

Quiñones began his career at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he became a Professor of Neurosurgery and Oncology, Neurology, and Cellular and Molecular Medicine and director of the Brain Tumor Stem Cell Biology Lab. His clinical interests focus on the surgical treatment of primary and metastatic brain tumors, with an emphasis on motor and speech mapping during surgery. He is expert in treating intradural spinal tumors as well as brainstem and eloquent brain tumors in adults with the use of neurophysiological monitoring during surgery. He further specializes in the treatment of patients with pituitary tumors using a transphenoidal endonasal approach with surgical navigation and endoscopic techniques. He has a strong interest in treating patients with skull base tumors and the use of radiosurgery as an adjunct to the treatment of these lesions.

Quiñones conducts both clinical and basic science research. From 2005 to 2016, his team published over 150 scientific articles and received 14 funding grants.[5] Quiñones conducts numerous research efforts on elucidating the role of stem cells in the origin of brain tumors, and the potential role stem cells can play in fighting brain cancer and regaining neurological function.[7] He has been actively involved in fundraisers for brain cancer research. He continues to participate at half-marathons with his research team and some of his own patients to raise money for cancer research.[8]

In April 2016, Quiñones was hired by Mayo Clinic in Florida as its William J. and Charles H. Mayo Professor and chairman of Neurosurgery. He left Johns Hopkins and started work at Mayo Clinic Florida in Jacksonville. His clinical work includes:

  • Surgical treatment of primary and metastatic brain tumors with emphasis in motor and speech mapping during surgery
  • Pituitary tumors and skull base tumors using transsphenoidal endonasal and minimally invasive approaches
  • Providing personalized medicine to improve patient outcomes.

In addition to his clinical activities, Quinones-Hinojosa leads NIH-funded research to find a cure for brain cancer. His research focuses on brain tumors and cell migration, healthcare disparities for minorities and clinical outcomes for neurosurgical patients. He is also researching new techniques in neurosurgery such as the use of nanotechnology and focal beam radiotherapy, the development of new imaging software to identify areas of tumors, and the development of innovative and minimally invasive approaches to brain tumor resection in the systemic treatment of solid tumors.


Quiñones is the author of more than 50 book chapters, and has authored several textbooks on neurosurgical techniques and stem cell biology.[9] In 2011, Quiñones edited Core Techniques in Operative Neurosurgery[10] and published his autobiography, Becoming Dr Q: My Journey from Migrant Farm Worker to Brain Surgeon, which went on to earn him an International Latino Book Award in 2012[11]. In 2012, Quiñones was the lead editor of the 6th edition of Schmidek and Sweet's Operative Neurosurgical Techniques, one of the world's preeminent textbooks of neurosurgery.[12] He will also serve as the lead editor for the 7th edition of Schmidek and Sweet's Operative Neurosurgical Techniques. In 2013, Quiñones published Controversies in Neuro-Oncology: Best Evidence Medicine for Brain Tumor Surgery with Dr. Shaan Raza. The British Medical Association awarded Controversies in Neuro-Oncology first prize in Oncology in 2014.[13] Quiñones is currently working on a first Video-Atlas of Neurosurgery that will be published in 2016.

Awards and recognitions[edit]

  • 1986 B.A. Escuela Normal Urbana Federal Fronteriza, Mexicali, Mexico - Social Sciences and Humanities, Multidisciplinary teaching license[14]
  • 1991 San Joaquin Delta Community College, Stockton, California - Transfer core curriculum to the University of California[14]
  • 1994 B.A. University of California, Berkeley, California - Highest Honors[14]
  • 1999 M.D. Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts - Cum Laude[14]
  • 2000 University of California, San Francisco, California (General Surgery) - Most Valuable Intern Award[14]
  • 2004 University of California, San Francisco, California (Residency - Neurosurgery) - Howard Naffziger Neurological Surgery Award[14]
  • 2006 Howard Hughes Institute - Physician-Scientist Career Award[14]
  • 2006 Association of American Medical Colleges - Herbert Nickens Award[14]
  • 2006 American Society of Clinical Oncology Foundation - Career Development Award[14]
  • 2006 American College of Surgeon - Franklin Martin Faculty Research Award[14]
  • 2006 Johns Hopkins University - Passano Physician Scientist Award[14]
  • 2007 Johns Hopkins Hospital - Department of Neurosurgery - Faculty Teaching Award (Richard J. Otenasek)[14]
  • 2007 Robert Wood Johnson Award[14]
  • 2007 Popular Science Magazine - Brilliant 10 Scientists Award[15]
  • 2007 Baltimore Magazine - US Top Docs[16]
  • 2008 Olender Foundation - America's Role Model Award[17]
  • 2010 Science & Engineering Festival - Nifty Fifty Scientist[18]
  • 2011 Baltimore Magazine - Baltimore Top Docs[19]
  • 2012 Named as Super Doctor[20]
  • 2012 Recipient of Ohtli Award[21]
  • 2015 VII Premio Iberoamericano Cortes de Cádiz Surgery Award, Spain[22]
  • 2015 Forbes, World's Most Creative Mexicans[23]
  • 2018 Doctorate honoris cause, by University of Santander - UDES - Bucaramanga, COLOMBIA


Quiñones stars in the second episode of The Surgeon's Cut, produced by BBC Studios’ The Science Unit for Netflix which was released globally on 9th of December 2020.[24]

In the Immigration episode of Adam Ruins Everything, Quiñones-Hinojosa's name and picture (wearing a hat that says "Dr. Q" on it,) is featured in a lineup of some of the Mexican-American immigrants who have improved the United States.


  1. ^ Kit, Borys (March 3, 2016). "Brad Pitt's Plan B, Disney Team for True-Life Immigrant Tale 'Dr. Q' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  2. ^ DUDLEY. "The Alfredo Story". Archived from the original on 24 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  3. ^ Quiñones-Hinojosa, A. (2007). "Terra Firma — A Journey from Migrant Farm Labor to Neurosurgery". New England Journal of Medicine. 357 (6): 529–531. doi:10.1056/NEJMp078105. PMID 17687127.
  4. ^ a b "DOME: The Remarkable Journey of Doctor Q". Retrieved 2012-03-11.
  5. ^ a b Ledford, H. (2011). "Work ethic: The 24/7 lab". Nature. 477 (7362): 20–22. Bibcode:2011Natur.477...20L. doi:10.1038/477020a. PMID 21886138.
  6. ^ a b All Things Considered. "Farmworker to Surgeon: Immigrant Lives Dream". NPR. Retrieved 2012-03-11.
  7. ^ "All the things Dr Quinones does at Hopkins. Basic science research, clinical research, neurosurgery, and social events". Retrieved 2012-03-11.
  8. ^ "Fundraisers for Dr Quinones' fight against brain tumors". Retrieved 2012-03-11.
  9. ^ "" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-05-01. Retrieved 2015-06-17.
  10. ^ Core Techniques in Operative Neurosurgery. US Elsevier Health Bookshop. 2011. ISBN 9781437709070. Retrieved 2015-06-17.
  11. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2015-08-12. Retrieved 2015-06-17.
  12. ^ "Becoming Dr Q: My journey from migrant farm worker to brain surgeon". 2012-02-22. Retrieved 2012-03-11.
  13. ^ "BMA - Library - Medical Book Awards Winners By Category | British Medical Association". Archived from the original on 2015-06-07. Retrieved 2015-06-17.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-05-01. Retrieved 2012-05-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ Mone, Gregory. "PopSci's 6th Annual Brilliant Ten | Popular Science". Retrieved 2012-03-11.
  16. ^ Serpick, Evan. "The Curious Case of Dr. Q". Baltimore magazine. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  17. ^ "Jack H. Olender & Associates, Medical Malpractice Law, Washington, D.C". Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  18. ^ "Nifty Fifty". Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-11.
  19. ^ "Assets data" (PDF). 2011.
  20. ^ "Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa :: Doctor - Baltimore, Maryland (MD) :: Doctor Profile :: Super Doctors". Retrieved 2015-06-15.
  21. ^ "Lista de glardonados" (PDF). Insituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (in Spanish). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 April 2017. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  22. ^ "Cirugía « Premios Iberoamericanos Cortes de Cádiz". Retrieved 2015-06-17.
  23. ^ "Dr. Q., el mexicano que busca derrotar al cáncer - Forbes México". 2015-01-17. Retrieved 2015-06-17.
  24. ^ BBC News "The Surgeon's Cut"

External links[edit]