James Leland Quinn, III (1933-1980)

Written By North Carolina History Project

A distinguished pioneer and investigator in the field of nuclear medicine, James Leland Quinn, III helped change the direction of medical science in the twentieth century. Born July 12, 1933, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Quinn studied chemistry at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina, and in 1955, earned his degree.

After graduation, Quinn entered the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and graduated in 1959 with a doctoral degree.  After completing his residency at Bowman Gray, Dr. Quinn became the director of nuclear medicine and assistant director of therapeutic radiology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. In 1967, he chaired the Nuclear Science Committee and the Department of Radiology at Northwestern University. During the 1973 commencement exercises at Belmont Abbey College, Dr. Quinn received an honorary doctorate for his achievements in nuclear science. In 1980, at the age of forty-six, Dr. Quinn died.

A long career in the field of radiology and the nuclear medicine subspecialty resulted in many honors and awards. He was a nuclear medicine and radiology consultant to the World Health Organization and to various U.S. governmental agencies and research organizations.  Dr. Quinn also published numerous professional articles, founded and edited the Yearbook of Nuclear Medicine, and served as a trustee of the Society of Nuclear Medicine.