Project Description

Lawrence J. DeLucas, O.D., Ph.D., D.Sc. (Hon)

Dr. Larry DeLucas

American biochemist and former NASA astronaut

Dr. DeLucas is a Principal Scientist at the Aerospace Corporation.  He was previously a Professor in the School of Optometry, Senior Scientist and Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center X-ray Core Facility, and Director of the Center for Structural Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).  Dr. DeLucas received five degrees from UAB culminating in a Doctor of Optometry degree and a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry. He also received honorary Doctor of Science degrees from The Ohio State University, Ferris State University, SUNY College of Optometry and the Illinois College of Optometry. He has published more than 160 peer-reviewed research articles in various scientific journals, co-authored and edited several books on protein crystal growth and membrane proteins and is a co-inventor on 43 patents involving protein crystal growth, novel biotechnologies and structure-based drug design.

Dr. DeLucas was a member of the 7-person crew of Space Shuttle Columbia for Mission “STS-50”, called the United States Microgravity Laboratory-1 (USML-1) Spacelab mission. Columbia launched on June 25, 1992, returning on July 9.  He traveled more than 6 million miles, completing 221 orbits of earth and logging over 331 hours in space.  From 1994 to 1995, Dr. DeLucas served as the Chief Scientist for the International Space Station at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Dr. DeLucas was recognized as a Top Ten Finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Birmingham Business Journal and in 1999 he was recognized as one of the scientists who could shape the 21st century in an article published by “The Sunday Times” of London titled “The Brains Behind the 21st Century”. 

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