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Brother DeSales Lawless: A Lifetime in the Sciences and Education. MaryAnn Principato, Ph.D. Fordham University CLC ‘75. Brother DeSales Lawless. Born: 1920 Bardstown, Kentucky Ordained : Xaverian Brother 1942 Bachelor’s Degree: Catholic University Ph.D. 1966 Science History

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brother desales lawless a lifetime in the sciences and education

Brother DeSales Lawless:A Lifetime in the Sciences and Education

MaryAnn Principato, Ph.D.

Fordham University CLC ‘75

brother desales lawless
Brother DeSales Lawless
  • Born: 1920 Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Ordained : Xaverian Brother 1942
  • Bachelor’s Degree: Catholic University
  • Ph.D. 1966 Science History

GSAS/New York University

  • Ph.D. 1969 Biochemistry

Basic Medical Sciences Program,

GSAS/New York University

  • Fordham University CLC Faculty,

Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences


  • Rockefeller University Researcher 1969(?)-2003.
a student s view
A Student’s View…
  • A Southern drawl in Manhattan
    • “Oh for pity’s sake!”
    • “My, my such good apple pie!”
    • “See you around like a doughnut!”
  • Pied Piper of Students
  • Life at Rockefeller
  • Where is it in the textbook?
science advancements in the mid 20 th century

Heidelberger & Kabat





Watson & Crick

Niels Jerne

Ab selection

Maxine Singer, Norton Zinder, Paul Berg

and others at Asilomar 1974

Consequences of Restriction enzymes




Rev Trans

Science Advancements in the mid 20th Century
the years at oak ridge 1971 1975 studies with gallium 67
The Years at Oak Ridge (1971-1975)… Studies with Gallium67
  • The radioisotope Gallium67 was known to localize in a variety of human and rodent tumors.
  • At the time, the mechanism for attachment and entry into tumor tissue was not known. The subcellular distribution of the isotope is in liver microsomes.
  • Using the 5123C rat hepatoma, Brother Desales isolated and characterized the binding of the isotope to a 45,000 MW molecular weight glycoprotein localized in the microsomes.

In D Lawless, David Brown,, Isolation and Partial Characterization of a 67Ga binding Glycoprotein from Morris 5123C Rat Hepatoma.Cancer Research 38:4440. 1978

gallium 67 continued
Gallium 67 continued
  • The isotope is used today for tumor imaging, yet the radiopharmaceutical remains a controversial tumor imaging agent.
  • While tumors are known to be highly vascularized, the isotope’s transport mechanism which facilitates entry into tissue has not been defined.
  • The isotope is known to be bound by transferrin as well as by the 45,000MW glycoprotein. However, the transport of the isotope is known to occur using both transferrin-dependent and transferrin –independent mechanisms.
  • The role of the 45000 MW glycoprotein has yet to be elucidated.
the years at memorial sloan kettering cancer center 1978 1985

Dr. Charlotte


The Years at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (1978-1985)
  • Brother DeSales began his training in Immunology with Dr Cunningham Rundles and Dr. Robert Good’s Division of Immunodeficiency and Allergy.
  • Combined biochemical expertise to solve immunochemical problems
  • Isolation of high molecular weight circulating antibody complexes.
  • Description of the presence of FcR on the surface of T lymphocytes

C. Cunningham-Rundles, D. Lawless, S. Gupta, C. Galanos, R.A. Good.

Isolation and partial chemical characterization of the IgG Fc receptor of human T lymphocytes and production of an antiserum. PNAS 77:3645.1980.

the years with the naval medical research institute bethesda md 1986 1987
The Years with the Naval Medical Research Institute,Bethesda,MD.(1986-1987)
  • Coupling antibodies of defined specificity to beads
  • Isolation of human precursor and stem cells
  • Expansion of stem cells
colon cancer research at oak ridge 1987 1988
Colon Cancer Research at Oak Ridge (1987-1988)
  • Method development for the detection of circulating colon cancer cells in an animal model
  • Development of an ELISA assay for the detection of host circulating antibodies directed against the surface adenocarcinoma glycoprotein
  • B.DeSales Lawless, Y. Lee, J. Crook, N. Clapp. ELISA assay for Colon Cancer. J Clin Lab. Analysis. 2:35. 1988.
  • B.DeSales Lawless, Y. Lee, J. Crook, N. Clapp. Colon Cancer Cellsin Peripheral Blood of Cancerous Tamarins. Clin Immunol.Immuopath.48:338.1988.
the effects of space flight upon cellular immune function
The Effects of Space flight upon Cellular Immune Function
  • Increased susceptibility to infection (Apollo missions).
  • Decreased responsiveness to recall antigen skin tests.
  • Peripheral blood lymphocytes derived from returning astronauts are refractory to mitogenic stimulation.
  • Astronauts exhibit temporary changes in CD4/CD8 T cell ratios.
  • Reduced production of IL-2 cytokine and IL2 receptor.
  • Hypothesis: Lack of immune response occurs at the cellular level.
sts 56 cmix 2 mission the immune function of t cells
STS 56 CMIX 2 Mission: The Immune Function of T cells
  • Method: Stimulation of purified murine splenic T cells through direct engagement of the T cell receptor with the SEB superantigen or via the TCR-associated CD3 molecule using anti-CD3+1L2.
  • Result: In both instances, the murine T cell population transitioned into DNA synthesis (S phase) and mitotic division (G2+M), indicative of cellular proliferation.
  • Assay: Cell cycle analysis by flow cytometry

Principato, M.A., B.D. Lawless, and M.L. Lewis. Superantigen-mediated T cell receptor stimulation in zero gravity. ASGSB Bulletin Vol. 7:, (1993).

cmix 4 experiments on sts 69
CMIX 4 Experiments on STS 69

M.L Lewis, M.A Principato, B D. Lawless, D.R. Morrison, W.C.


In Molecular Biology of the Cell 4:450 (1993)

Department of Biology, Univ. of Alabama, Huntsville, AL 35899, Immunology Branch, Food and Drug Administration. Laurel, MD 20708, Dept of Cellular Immunology, Rockefeller Univ., NY, NY 10021 NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX. 77058 and Program Resources Inc., DynCorp, Frederick MD 21702.

spaceflight induced apoptosis and changes in the cytoskeleton
Spaceflight -induced Apoptosis and changes in the Cytoskeleton
  • Jurkat cells exhibited marked changes in cytoskeletal organization 4 hours into spaceflight.
  • Increased secretion of FAS
  • DNA replication occurred in flight. However , there was no progression through G2M phase as measured by flow cytometry.

Taken from M. Lewis, J. Reynolds, L. Cubano, J. Hatton, B. DeSales Lawless, E. Piepmeir. Spaceflight alters microtubules and increases apoptosis in human lymphocytes (Jurkat). FASEB .J. 12:1007. 1998.

spaceflight induced alteration of cellular structure and physiology
Spaceflight-induced alteration of cellular structure and physiology
  • Bone loss in spaceflight
  • Altered Nuclear morphology
  • Altered actin and microtubule organization

Dr. Millie Fulford -Hughes

human physiology at nasa s ames research center
Human Physiology at NASA’s Ames Research Center
  • Problem: Spaceflight deconditioning includes reduced body water and blood volume (hypovolemia), as well as decreased aerobic capability and immune function.
  • This research examined the effect of fluid replacement on exercise-induced hypovolemia and immune function

In J.E. Greenleaf, C.G. R. Jackson, and D. Lawless.CD4/CD8 Lymphocyte Ratio: effects of rehydration before exercise in dehydrated men. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 27:194. 1995

Lawless, D., C.G. Jackson, J.E. Greenleaf. Exercise and Human Immunodeficiency Virus.19:235. 1995

time at the fda summer of 1996
Time at the FDA..Summer of 1996
  • Hijinks and hilarity with Kenny and Amy
  • Glycoconjugate mapping
rockefeller university additional activities
Rockefeller UniversityAdditional activities
  • Protein sequencing of phage lambda. P. Model & N. Zinder. Laboratory of Genetics
  • Isolation and characterization of Dendritic cells R. Steinman Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Immunology
the last proposal the immunofunctionality of cd8 t cells in aids
The Last Proposal: The Immunofunctionality of CD8+ T Cells in AIDS
  • For his last research proposal, Brother attracted the attention of Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health. He proposed to examine and exploit the immunofunctionality of CD8+ T cells for the treatment of AIDS.
  • However, advancing age and infirmity, coupled with a younger and more aggressive scientific culture, prevented Brother’s last success.
  • A publication from the AIDS Research Center of Harvard University supports Brother’s last premise:

Immunodominance of HIV-1-specific CD8+ T cell responses in acute HIV-1 infection: at the crossroads of viral and host genetics. Mathias Lichterfeld, et. al. in Trends in Immunology 26(3):166-171. 2005

brother desales professor mentor colleague and friend
Brother DeSales:Professor, Mentor, Colleague, and Friend

Brother DeSales passed away on Feb. 29, 2008 in his hometown of

Louisville, Ky.


My cat Katey (Katrina) was born on Feb. 29, 2008, and continues

Brother’s inquisitive and comedic spirit.