Larry DeLucas is an American biochemist and astronaut. He was born James “Larry” DeLucas on July 11, 1950 in Syracuse, New York. He attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham and received the following degrees: a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in 1972; a Master of Science degree in Chemistry in 1974; a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiological Optics in 1979; a Doctorate in Optometry in 1981; and a Doctorate in Biochemistry in 1982. After he received his last doctorate, DeLucas served as the Associate Director at the Center for Macromolecular Crystallography. In 1989 he began his teaching career as a Professor in the Department of Optometry at UAB. He has since been an Adjunct Professor with the University of Alabama in Materials Science, Laboratory of Medical Genetics, the Department of Biochemistry, and Physiology and Biophysics.
In 1992, DeLucas traveled aboard STS-50, his first and only mission to space. He served as a crew member of the United States Microgravity Laboratory-1 Spacelab mission, which launched aboard Space Shuttle Columbia on June 25, 1992. During the mission, the crew carried out various materials processing tests and fluid physics experiments. After the mission ended on July 9, 1992, DeLucas had logged 331 hours in space and 221 Earth orbits. Two years later, DeLucas was chosen by NASA to be the Chief Scientist for the International Space Station. That same year he was also chosen to be a Director at both The Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering and The Cancer Center X-ray Core Facility. Currently, he is still an active member of many organizations. He is married to the former Katherine Gester and together they have three children.
Throughout his education and careers, DeLucas became a member of the following organizations: American Crystallographic Association, American Academy of Optometry, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Alabama Optometric Association, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, National Aeronautic Association, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Biotechnology Association of Alabama, and Helen Keller Eye Research Foundation. He has also published more than 125 research articles and has co-written two books.
Image Caption: Portrait astronaut Lawrence DeLucas. Credit: NASA/Wikipedia