Quintin McKellar graduated in Veterinary Medicine in 1981, and gained a PhD in Veterinary Parasitology in 1984 from the University of Glasgow. He became Lecturer (1984), Senior Lecturer (1991), Reader (1994) and Professor and Head of Department (1996) in Veterinary Pharmacology at the University of Glasgow. He was appointed director of the Moredun Research Institute which carries out infectious disease research of livestock in 1997, and was appointed Principal of the Royal Veterinary College, University of London in 2004. Since 2011 he has been the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire.
He was awarded a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2002, and has been awarded Fellowships of the Institute of Biology, the Royal Agricultural Society, The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce, The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and The Royal Society of Edinburgh. He has been awarded research prizes by The Wellcome Trust, British Veterinary Association, British Small Animal Veterinary Association, Royal Agricultural Society and Saltire Society of Scotland.
He is chairman of the Innovation and Growth Policy Network of Universities UK and the Universities Vocational Awards Council. He is chairman of the Hatfield Town Regeneration project and a Board member of the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and a Non-Executive Director of the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock. He was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2011.