Lawrence J. DeLucas, O.D., Ph.D., D.Sc. (Hon)
Director, Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering
|Dr. DeLucas is the Director of the Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering, Director and a Senior Scientist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center X-ray Crystallography Facility, and a professor at UAB's School of Optometry, School of BioChemistry and School of Physiology & Biophysics. He is a recipient of the UAB Distinguished Faculty award and the State of Alabama Howard Heflin Statesmanship Award for Technology Innovation. Having been recognized in “The Sunday Times” of London as One of the Scientists who could shape the 21st Century in an article titled “The Brains Behind the 21st Century” he is recognized as one of the Pioneers in Proteomic Research. Dr. DeLucas was inducted into the National Optometry Hall of Fame in October 2002 and the recipient of a Presidential Award from the President of Brazil recognizing his ground breaking research in the International Chagas Disease Project. Dr. Delucas was a flight Payload Specialist aboard the NASA Space Shuttle Columbia, STS-50, on a two week space mission launched in June 25, 1992 requiring his involvement in over 31 different biophysical and fluid dynamic experiments during his mission on the space shuttle. He was also appointed and served as the NASA Chief Scientist for the International Space Station at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. from 1994 to 1995. As Chief Scientist he was responsible for focusing a large co-investigator group consisting of scientists and engineers from universities, pharmaceutical companies, and government laboratories from around the globe in collaboration with NASA. Dr. DeLucas received NASA Public Service Medal for exemplary performance in support of the Microgravity Projects Office in June, 1997.
Dr. DeLucas has received 5 degrees from UAB achieving both a Doctor of Optometry and a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry. He has also received Honorary Doctor of Science degrees from four other Universities. He has published over 130 peer reviewed scientific articles, co-authored two books on protein crystal growth and is an inventor on 15 patents involving protein crystal growth and compounds developed with structure based drug discovery.
Dr. DeLucas' current research focuses on structure based drug discovery with x-ray crystallography in the fields of Genomics and Proteomics (membrane proteins in particular) coupled with development and integration of innovative tools and technologies for drug discovery platforms.