Joan Miquel-Quintilla was born in Barcelona on July 10th. 1912. The youngest son of a Catalan family of fabric manufacturers, he broke the family tradition because from a very young age, when he was a student in the Piarist Fathers School, he felt a passion for Science in all of its facets.
At the University of Barcelona he studied, at the same time, Chemistry and Pharmacy degree and he graduated in both courses with an Extraordinary Final Year Prize. In the early 1930s he went to Nuremberg and Heidelberg for his doctoral studies, but in that period Germany was living the effervescence of Nazism, as a consequence he decided to go to Paris to complete his Doctoral Thesis on the study of Sulphonamides.
The Spanish Civil War found him in Barcelona, he was captain of the Military Pharmacy and worked for the Health Department of the Generalitat. The war abruptly ended his medicine career. In these years he carried out the IR Optical research applied to night vision at the University of Barcelona in collaboration with Dr. Miguel Masriera.