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Distinguished Lectureship in Science Honoring Dr. Roy E. Moon: “Using Fat to Fight Cancer”

Monday, April 17, 2023 7 p.m. Free

Join us for a presentation by renowned neurosurgeon, Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, the featured speaker for the 45th Distinguished Lectureship in Science Honoring Dr. Roy E. Moon!


Portrait of Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, M.D.

A native of Mexicali, Mexico, Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, better known as Dr. Q, rose from humble beginnings to become an internationally renowned neuroscientist and neurosurgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Florida. At age 18, he took a literal leap of faith and hopped the border fence into California to reach for the American Dream. While toiling as an undocumented worker in the tomato fields and rail yards of central California, he took classes at San Joaquin Delta College and eventually earned a scholarship to the University of California Berkeley. After earning a bachelor’s degree, he completed his M.D. at Harvard Medical School, became a U.S. citizen, and then did his residency in neurosurgery at UC San Francisco.

Since then, Dr. Q has become one of the world’s finest surgeons and scientists, first at Johns Hopkins University and now the Mayo Clinic. He operates on about 250 brain tumors every year and leads cutting-edge, federally-funded research to cure brain cancer. In 2011, he co-founded the Mission:Brain Foundation that provides neurosurgical resources to patients, caregivers and providers in underserved areas around the world.

A prolific researcher, Dr. Q has co-authored nearly 600 publications, as well as his best-selling autobiography, “Becoming Dr. Q: My Journey from Migrant Farm Worker to Brain Surgeon.” He has appeared on the award-winning ABC TV series “Hopkins,” as well as on CNN, “NOVA” on PBS, “CBS News” and “The Today Show,” and he is featured in an episode of the Netflix documentary “The Surgeon’s Cut.”

In a career littered with honors and awards, Dr. Q has received numerous honorary doctorates from universities in the U.S. and Mexico. He has been named Scientist of the Year by Newsweek, Neurosurgeon of the Year by Voices Against Brain Cancer, a Brilliant 10 Genius by Popular Science, and one of Mexico’s Most Brilliant Minds in the World by Forbes magazine.

His Research

Dr. Quinones-Hinojosa conducts research to predict patient prognosis and discover new methods of delivering effective treatments for brain tumors in diverse populations. His main focus areas are to understand cancer migration and progression in the brain, understand invasive cell populations, and uncover novel therapeutic targets to impact tumor progression.

Additionally, Dr. Q seeks to improve patient safety, maximize the efficacy of current treatments, and advance the development of new therapies for brain tumors. He is currently working on a method to use human fat cells engineered with nanoparticles and viruses to cure brain cancer.

“It’s almost like you give a hunting dog something to smell,” Dr. Q told CNN. “We give the cells the smell of cancer juice, and they go back and chase these cancers incredibly well.”

To fund his research, Dr. Q has obtained multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health, as well as from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Howard Hughes Foundation, among many other sources. He also recently started two companies, Obex Theranostics and Dome Therapeutics, to translate his laboratory work back to patients.

Dr. Q is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health and American Society for Clinical Oncology, among many other professional societies and organizations. He is also on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Oncology, World Neurosurgery, World Journal of Stem Cells and other scientific publications.

Event Contact

College of Science and Engineering