Donald Holmquest

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Donald L. Holmquest
NASA Astronaut
Nationality American
Status Resigned
Born (1939-04-07) 7 April 1939 (age 76)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Other names
Donald Lee Holmquest
Other occupation
Engineer, physician, juris doctor
SMU, B.S. 1962
Baylor University, M.D. 1967, Ph.D. 1968
UH, J.D. 1988
Selection 1967 NASA Group 6
Missions none, resigned before being assigned to a mission
Retirement September 1973

Donald Lee Holmquest, B.S., M.D., Ph.D., J.D. (born April 7, 1939) is an American lawyer, as well as a physician, electrical engineer and former NASA astronaut. He is currently the CEO of the California Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO).


Early life and education[edit]

Holmquest was born on April 7, 1939, in Dallas, Texas. He attended Roger Q. Mills Elementary School, and is a 1957 graduate of W. H. Adamson High School in Dallas. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University in 1962, and doctorates in Medicine, Physiology and Law. He earned the doctorates in medicine and physiology from Baylor University in 1967 and 1968, respectively. He received the juris doctor degree from the University of Houston in 1988.

NASA career[edit]

After receiving his medical degree and his doctorate in Physiology from Baylor College of Medicine, and completing his internship in internal medicine at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, Holmquest was selected as a scientist-astronaut by NASA in August 1967. After completing initial academic training and a 53-week course in flight training at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona, where he earned Air Force Wings, he worked on the Apollo program, and Skylab habitability systems and medical experiments for a period of 1½ years.

He logged 750 hours flying time in jet aircraft prior to resigning from NASA in September 1973.

Post-NASA career[edit]

Holmquest then returned to Baylor for additional training in medicine. He completed specialty training in Nuclear Medicine and then assumed the role of Chief of Nuclear Medicine at Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston. He is also a Diplomat of the American Board of Nuclear Medicine. He established the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California, and then took the post of Associate Dean of Medicine at Texas A&M University, where he was instrumental in developing A&M's new College of Medicine.

Following this Holmquest entered the law school at the University of Houston. While pursuing his legal education, Holmquest maintained his practice in medicine. He received his juris doctor cum laude from the University of Houston, and after serving as a senior partner at Wood, Lucksinger & Epstein until its dissolution, he established the firm of Holmquest & Associates, dedicated to the health care industry. He now practices medicine and law on a full-time basis.


Holmquest is a member of the Society of Nuclear Medicine, American College of Nuclear Physicians, the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation. Holmquest held a faculty appointment as Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.


Holmquest's career is chronicled in the book NASA's Scientist-Astronauts by David Shayler and Colin Burgess.