John Quindry ’94, M.S. ’96, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in exercise science from Illinois State. Inspired by Professors Dale Brown, Steve McCaw, and Dave Thomas, Quindry quickly became a committed student for the first time in his life. Things got more exciting for him after learning how pathophysiology and exercise could be used as a means to treat heart disease during his internship interactions with Karen Dennis who was a cardiac rehabilitation nurse before joining the exercise science faculty.

Quindry has since transitioned his research to animal models of exercise and heart disease in order to fully answer complicated scientific questions. One of the discoveries made in his lab is that exercise results in the production of chemicals released into circulation by skeletal muscle. These chemicals activate heart protection and prevent damage for disease during a heart attack. Where most biomedical scientists seek to create a pill for better health, Quindry and his team examine ways that lifestyle can elicit similar or better outcomes.

This fall Quindry joined the faculty at the University of Montana as associate professor in health and human performance after a previous appointment at Auburn University.

For almost six years, the Illinois State kinesiology and wellness program occupied the combined efforts of Quindry and his wife, Tiffany Quindry ’96, who also has a degree in exercise science. “The formative moments came when Professors Brown and Thomas encouraged me to pursue further graduate education, and when Tudy Schmied introduced me as a colleague at an important university function,” John Quindry said. “My wife and I are still great friends with faculty and staff in KNR and in the wellness program.”

One of the most unique features of Quindry’s time at Illinois State was the ability to train and work in the field while attending school. None of the good things that have happened since would have been possible without this foundation of practical experience combined with academics. Today Quindry and his wife are trying to pay back the early investment and build the next generation.

Quindry’s advice to new graduates is to chase their interests and passions above a paycheck. “The trivial matters (salary, etc.) will come if you truly commit to being a top professional. I also recommend considering acquiring unique credentials (for me this meant a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and postdoctoral training in exercise biochemistry to define yourself from others in the field.”

We wish Quindry continued success in his new appointment at the University of Montana.