Alfredo Quines-Hijosa went from moving irrigation canals and picking tomatoes to fighting brain cancer. This endearing story, told in a first person account, recounts the journey: it takes us to his childhood in a tiny village in Baja California, Mexico, to Neurosurgery research at the celebrated school and hospital Johns Hopkins. The path starts with his childhood dreams, how to dominate the workings of Kaliman (a comic book character), and to travel to distant worlds; and what takes place in the back breaking work in the fields and railroads on the other side of the border, a community college, Harvard and the University of California. The seeds that were planted in that youngster about self-help, the faith in family and numerous mentors, bore fruit. His wholeheartedness, daring and personal efforts to defy the obstacles and follow his calling will inspire the reader to follow their own dreams.
Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa received an MD from Harvard University, where he graduated cum laude. He completed his residency in neurosurgery at the University of California, San Francisco, where he also did a postdoctoral fellowship in developmental and stem cell biology. Dr. Quinones was recruited in 2005 to Johns Hopkins in the Departments of Neurosurgery, Neuroscience, and Cellular and Molecular Medicine, where he was promoted to full Professor in 2012. He is currently the Director of the Pituitary Surgery Program, Director of the Brain Tumor Surgery Program at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital, and Director of the Brain Tumor Stem Cell Neurosurgery laboratory and Neurooncology Surgical Outcomes Research Group at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is an internationally renowned neurosurgeon and neuroscientist who leads cutting edge research to cure brain cancer. His autobiography, Becoming Dr Q. My Journey from Migrant Farm Worker to Brain Surgeon received the 2012 14th International Latino Book Awards for best autobiography. Dr Quinones has also been a leading voice for decreasing disparities and with his group demonstrated that, overall, African Americans and Hispanics with brain tumors have disproportionately worse access to high-quality care over time compared with other non-minority groups. He has published over 210 peer-reviewed papers and over 62 books. Dr. Quinones is also 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). He has been recognized with: the 2003 and 2004 Edwin Boldrey Science Award and Howard Naffziger Neurological Surgery Award; the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, UCSF Class of 2004; the Association of American Medical Colleges Herbert W. Nickens Award; the Johns Hopkins Hospital Department of Neurosurgery, Richard J. Otenasek, Jr, Faculty Teaching Award; the Merage Foundation National Leadership in Science and Medicine Award; the America s Role Model Award from the Olender Foundation; the American Association of Neurological Surgeons Public Service Award; the Immigrant Achievement Award by the American Immigration Council. He has been named as one of the 100 most influential Hispanics and has been selected by Popular Science magazine as one of their 6th Annual Brilliant Ten in their search for young genius influencing the course of science.