Donald Holmquest

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

Donald L. Holmquest
Donald L. Holmquest portrait (S67-35799).jpg
Born (1939-04-07) 7 April 1939 (age 80)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Other namesDonald Lee Holmquest
Alma mater
OccupationEngineer, physician, juris doctor
Space career
NASA Astronaut
Selection1967 NASA Group 6
Missionsnone, resigned before being assigned to a mission
RetirementSeptember 1973


Early life and educationEdit

Holmquest was born on April 7, 1939, in Dallas, Texas.[1] He attended Roger Q. Mills Elementary School, and is a 1957 graduate of W. H. Adamson High School in Dallas. He received a B.S. in electrical engineering from Southern Methodist University with highest honors in 1962.[2] Subsequently, he earned a M.D. and a Ph.D in physiology from Baylor College of Medicine in 1967 and 1968, respectively.

He married Charlotte Ann (née Blaha).[3]

NASA careerEdit

After receiving his medical doctorate and a doctorate in physiology from Baylor College of Medicine, and completing his internship in internal medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital, Holmquest was selected as a scientist-astronaut by NASA in August 1967.[4] Following 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 Skylab habitability systems and medical experiments for ​1 12 years (1969–1971).

Holmquest was not assigned to a Skylab prime or backup crew. In May 1971, he was granted a one year leave of absence from NASA. In Baylor's Department of Radiology, Holmquest was assigned as an assistant professor of radiology and physiology and associate director of nuclear medicine.[5] His leave of absence was extended to September 1973, and he completed training in nuclear medicine at Baylor. When it became clear that he would not be assigned to any Skylab mission after Skylab B was scrapped, he formally resigned from the Astronaut Corps in September 1973.

As an astronaut, he logged 750 hours flying time in jet aircraft.[1]

Post-NASA careerEdit

Following his resignation from NASA, Holmquest assumed the role of chief of nuclear medicine at Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston. He is also a diplomate 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.

Thereafter, Holmquest entered the University of Houston Law Center. While pursuing his legal education, he maintained his practice in medicine. Holmquest received his J.D. cum laude from the University of Houston in 1988. 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. He resides in Menlo Park, California.


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.


  1. ^ a b "Donald Lee Holmquest Biography". NASA. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  2. ^ "Intern, Astronomer to be Astronauts". The Napa Valley Register. Napa, California. UPI. August 2, 1967. p. 10 – via
  3. ^ "A Miamian is among Eleven New Astronauts". The Miami News. Miami, Florida. August 5, 1967. p. 14 – via
  4. ^ "New Citizens to be Astros". Muncie Evening Press. Muncie, Indiana. UPI. August 3, 1967. p. 19 – via
  5. ^ "Astronaut Takes Leave to do Research, Teach". The Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Corpus Christi, Texas. Associated Press. May 22, 1971. p. 33 – via