After an earlier stint as a senior writer at Science, where she was widely known for her coverage of the Human Genome Project, Leslie returned as a deputy news editor in 2000, specializing in public health, infectious diseases, stem cells, and ecology. She supervises a fantastic team of biology writers, who cover topics such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, influenza, tropical and neglected diseases, and biodefense, as well as conservation biology, restoration ecology, and environmental policy.
Leslie occasionally gets time to write her own stories, which for the past few years have focused on infectious diseases in poor countries. She's a two-time winner of the American Society for Microbiology Public Communications Award, first in 2005 for her article, "Polio: The Final Assault?" and second for a malaria series written with Martin Enserink, who shared the award in 2008. For a piece entitled "Rotavirus Vaccine's Second Chance," she won the 2005 Communications Award from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
In between her stints at Science, Leslie was the editor-in-chief of the World Resources Report, a joint publication of the World Resources Institute, the World Bank, and the United Nations. At WRI, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, her group specialized on issues of environment, development, and human health. Before that, Leslie was senior editor and then editor-in-chief of Issues in Science and Technology, the policy journal of the National Academy of Sciences.
Leslie received an undergraduate degree in English literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a master's degree in science journalism from the University of Minnesota.
When she is not working, Leslie can usually be found paddling her sprint kayak on the Potomac River, running, or walking her dog.