Diandra Leslie-Pelecky is a Professor of Physics at West Virginia University. Her research focuses on fabricating and understanding magnetic nanoparticles, as well as using those nanoparticles for biomedical applications.
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.
Her research focuses on magnetic nanomaterials – particles with diameters a thousandth the thickness of a human hair. In addition to fundamental studies of magnetic materials, her research pursues ways of using magnetic nanomaterials for medical diagnosis and treatment, including more efficient delivery of chemotherapy drugs and magnetic resonance imaging enhancement.
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. She 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 work has been covered in popular outlets ranging from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal to ESPN and SPEED television, as well as in professional society publications such as C&EN (American Chemistry Society) 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. Most recently, she wrote and hosted the Science of Speed video series produced by the National Science Foundation. She has developed curricular materials for learning math and science via motorsports, which can be found at the Building Speed site, along with her motorsports blog.