Lawrence J. DeLucas


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Lawrence DeLucas
Lawrence DeLucas.jpg
Born (1950-07-11) 11 July 1950 (age 71)
Space career
NASA Payload Specialist
Time in space
13d 19h 30m
Mission insignia

Lawrence James "Larry" DeLucas (O. D., Ph.D.) is an American biochemist who flew aboard NASA Space Shuttle mission STS-50 as a Payload Specialist. He was born on July 11, 1950 in Syracuse, New York, and is currently married with three children. His recreational interests include basketball, scuba diving, bowling, model airplanes, astronomy and reading.


DeLucas attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), in Birmingham, Alabama and received the following degrees:


DeLucas has served as a member of the following organizations:


He has published 163 research articles in refereed scientific journals, is co-author of 2 books, and co-inventor on 43 patents.


  • Co-Chair, Spacehab Science Advisory Board
  • Secretary of the Board, Council of Biotechnology Centers, Biotechnology Industry Council
  • Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, UAB
  • NASA Research Award for research hardware patent entitled "Protein Crystal Growth Vapor Diffusion Apparatus for Microgravity " (September 1988)
  • Howell Heflin Statesmanship Award for Technology, NASA Space Flight Medal
  • Recognized as one of the scientists who could shape the 21st century in an article by The Sunday Times entitled "The Brains Behind the 21st Century"
  • Distinguished Crystallography Lecturer for Pittsburgh Diffraction Society Lecturers
  • Honorary Doctor of Science degree, Illinois College of Optometry (May 1998)
  • Honorary Doctor of Science degree, State University of New York College of Optometry (May 1997)
  • Honorary Doctor of Science degree, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI (May 2002)
  • Honorary Doctor of Science degree, The Ohio State University, Illinois College of Optometry, State University of New York State College of Optometry, and Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI.
  • NASA Space Flight Medal; flew as a payload specialist astronaut on the Columbia Space Shuttle, June 25-July 9, 1992. This was the longest space shuttle flight to date making 221 orbits of Earth.
  • Served as the NASA Chief Scientist for the International Space Station, at NASA HQ in Washington DC; 1994–1995.
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration Group Achievement Award for “Microgravity Experiments Design, Development and Operations Team” (February 1993)
  • Distinguished Crystallography Lecturer for Pittsburgh Diffraction Society Lectures, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (October 1993)
  • Received the 1st Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, December 8, 1991.
  • Recipient of the “Order of Rio Branco Award, Rank of Commander” from the Brazilian Government on behalf of the President of Brazil. The Order of Rio Branco is awarded to recognize and celebrate the merits of Brazilian and foreign individuals who have significantly contributed to the promotion of Brazil’s relation with the world. This award was presented to Dr. DeLucas at the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, D.C. by the Brazilian Ambassador to the United States. The award was the result of several of Dr. DeLucas’ activities in Brazil. Dr. DeLucas devoted a significant amount of time in impoverished regions of Brazil, giving inspirational talks to students in elementary schools and high schools and to the general public.
  • Inducted into the National Optometry Hall of Fame (October 2002)
  • Honorary Alumnus, Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (Awarded January 28, 2010)
  • President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, awarded at the Faculty Awards Ceremony (February 2011)
  • NASA Public Service Medal for exemplary performance in support of the Microgravity Projects Office (June 1997)
  • "Optometrist of the Year" by the Southeastern Optometric Association (February 1992)
  • First Annual UAB "Distinguished Alumnus Award" (December 1991)


  • 1975 – 1976: Research Associate in the Institute of Dental Research, UAB
  • 1977 – 1982: Graduate Student, working on combined doctoral degrees in Optometry and Biochemistry
  • 1982 – 2016: Member of Vision Science Research Center
  • 1983 – 2016: Member, Graduate Faculty, UAB
  • 1984 – 2016: Scientist, Comprehensive Cancer Center, UAB
  • 1986 – 1992: Associate Director, Center for Macromolecular Crystallography, UAB
  • 1987 – 2001: Member of NASA Science Advisory Committee for Advanced Protein Crystal Growth
  • 1989 – 2016: Adjunct Professor, Materials Science, University of Alabama in Huntsville, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Alabama
  • 1989 – 2016: Professor, Department of Optometry, UAB
  • 1990 – 2016: Adjunct Professor, Laboratory of Medical Genetics, UAB
  • 1990 – 2016: Adjunct Professor, Department of Biochemistry, UAB
  • 1990 – 2010: Member, Executive Committee and Board of the Helen Keller Eye Research Foundation
  • 1994 – 1995: NASA Chief Scientist for International Space Station
  • 1994 – 2016: Director, Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering, UAB
  • 1994 – 2016: Director, Cancer Center X-ray Core Facility, UAB
  • 1996 – 2016: Member Research Foundation and Technology Transfer Committee, UAB
  • 1997 – 1998: Member Metabolic Bone Disease, UAB
  • 1997 – 2000: Member, Media Relations Group, UAB
  • 2001 – 2016: Adjunct Professor, Physiology and Biophysics
  • 2016–present: Principal Scientist, The Aerospace Corporation
  • 2021-present, President and Founder, Soluble Biotech Inc.


DeLucas and Bonnie J. Dunbar in Spacelab with the Lower Body Negative Pressure device

DeLucas was a member of the crew of Space Shuttle Columbia for STS-50 (June 25-July 9, 1992), the United States Microgravity Laboratory-1 (USML-1) Spacelab mission. Over a two-week period, the crew conducted a wide variety of experiments relating to materials processing and fluid physics. At mission conclusion, DeLucas had traveled over 5.7 million miles in 221 Earth orbits, and had logged over 331 hours in space.

External links

  • "Biographical Data:LAWRENCE J. DELUCAS (O. D., PH.D.) PAYLOAD SPECIALIST" (PDF). NASA. November 2001. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  • Spacefacts biography of Lawrence J. DeLucas