Richard Mintel's pre-college life was spent, six years each, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Cleveland, Ohio, and Quincy, Illinois. He attended Quincy Senior High School, and then went to the University of Chicago where he earned a bachelor's degree, had a one-year stint as a medical student, and then earned a Ph.D. degree in biochemistry.
Mintel has taught at the University of Chicago, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the University of Virginia, and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has won teaching awards from Chicago and the University of Illinois.
Mintel's training in biochemistry was in the area of enzyme kinetics and mechanisms. These days his research interest lies in the area of digital imaging.
Mintel serves as Assistant Dean for Instructional Technologies in the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign. He also chairs the campus-wide committee on Cybersecurity and the Faculty.
Richard Mintel has a second career as a recordist of classical music. He has over 200 recording credits on National Public Radio and has recorded numerous long-playing records and compact discs. For the last 20 years he has served as audio producer for the Grand Teton Music Festival, whose concerts are heard across the country on National Public Radio. He also serves as audio producer for Chicago's Music of the Baroque, whose concerts are broadcast in Chicago, across the country, and in Europe over the WFMT Fine Arts Network.
Mintel has played trombone and classical organ, and likes to ski, hike, bike, swim, SCUBA dive, and to climb mountains. He once was an active pilot, but prefers to fly commercially these days because doing so is safer and cheaper.