Diandra Leslie-Pelecky earned undergraduate degrees in physics and philosophy from the University of North Texas and a Ph.D. in condensed matter physics from Michigan State University. She was a faculty member in the Department of Physics at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln from 1994 until 2008 and is currently a Professor of Physics at West Virginia University.
Her research focuses on magnetic nanomaterials – particles with diameters just a few thousandths the thickness of a human hair. In addition to fundamental studies of magnetic materials, her group uses magnetic nanomaterials for medical diagnosis and treatment processes such as drug delivery, magnetic resonance imaging and chemotherapy. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and various other federal and state funding agencies.
Diandra has been involved with science education for K-12 schools, future science teachers, and the public since graduate school. She has directed projects aimed at improving science education at all levels, supported primarily by the National Science Foundation.
Diandra has given numerous presentations for technical and non-technical audiences, including addresses for the public sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society. Her worked has been covered in outlets as diverse as the New York Times Science Times and Sports Illustrated, as well as in professional society publications such as C&EN and the Materials Research Society Bulletin. She appears periodically on the Sirius Speedway satellite radio program to update listeners on the scientific principles that affect their favorite drivers.