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Alex’s family requests that memorial gifts in his name be directed to the CHORI Summer Research Program UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Oakland. Information for how to make a donation can be found at: HERE or The Blue Donate button above. Alternatively, checks can be mailed to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Foundation, 2201 Broadway, Suite 600 Oakland, CA 94612.

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In memoriam

Alexander Hume Lucas IV
1949 – 2016

Alexander Hume Lucas, born September 15, 1949 was raised deeply rooted in Southern tradition with majority of his childhood spent in South Carolina and Florida. His family history was profoundly rich; the American lineage dating back to the country’s founding. Tucked away in Charleston County, the Lucas family plantation known as “the Wedge” still stands today. The estate was built by rice farmer William Lucas in 1826 after inheriting the land from his father Jonathan, inventor of the rice pounding mill. It remained in the family for the next hundred years, eventually being purchased by the University of South Carolina.
Fiercely independent and bright, Alex left home at the pristine age of 18 to study marine biology at the University of Miami. At the time, he worked at the Biological Field Station in Bimini, Bahamas also known as the “Shark Lab”. Lucas truly embraced the island lifestyle and Bimini will always be host to some of his fondest years.
In the early 1970’s with an itch to go West, Alex took the long drive to Northern California to feed his intellectual curiosities. He worked at UC Berkeley with immunologist Bob Mishell and then joined the Bruce Lyon lab at Children’s Hospital Oakland as a lab tech in 1974. Alex would go on to earn both his BA in Biology and his PhD in Immunology from the University of California, Berkeley.
After a six year stint in San Diego, working as a postdoc at UCSD and a Senior Research Associate at Scripps, Alex would return to CHORI in 1988 where he would stay until retiring in 2014. Lucas fervently and tirelessly dedicated his life to his research and the institute.
Both professionally and personally, Alex lived in color. He exuded energy and passion, shining his light on even those he met once, relating to all walks of life. A true renaissance man, Lucas was a magnificent intellectual, superb chef, meticulous carpenter, and accomplished musician. He enjoyed hiking at Point Reyes and Sunday afternoons spent reading the New York Times with his beloved cats, Bobo and Wallace. A pseudo Bay Area native at heart, nothing made Alex happier than a foggy morning spent tending to his garden. An animated story teller, lively dancer, and bourbon aficionado; Alex was always the life of the party. He was a romantic, writer of poetry, and loving father to his three children Nick, Michael, and Amy. He will be greatly missed.



To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Alex Lucas




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