The official biography below was current at the time of the award. Awardees may choose to provide their latest biographical information on their profile page.
Dr. DeLeon is a dedicated mentor has mentored at many levels from high school to graduate students as well as postdoctoral trainees and faculty members. Since 1982, Dr. DeLeon has mentored 81 undergraduate students through her genetics research laboratory. Dr. DeLeon uses her mentoring program for undergraduates to introduce them to the elements of scientific research in a personally safe environment where their ideas are heard and valued. She helps students understand and make decisions on career paths in the sciences. Dr. DeLeon introduces mentees to the primary literature and by helping students to formulate hypotheses during the course of their research experiences. She emphasizes rigorous analytical and creative thinking and develops a relationship a relationship built upon trust. Dr. DeLeon works to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills development and has committed her resources to helping underrepresented students learn first hand about science. Her efforts have served a generation and more of students, and more than half of the 81 undergraduate students have gone on to obtain or pursue their Ph.D.'s, M.D.'s or other graduate degrees. Some have pursued careers as professors and are themselves training undergraduate researchers, while others have entered the scientific field as research scientists or Directors of Cytogenetics laboratories in Biotech corporations. Their accomplishments attest to the long-term significance of her program. Dr. DeLeon has extended her mentoring program to include students from two neighboring minority access institutions in undergraduate summer. The success of the undergraduate mentoring program is paralleled by that at the graduate and post-doctoral levels. Twelve graduate students have been mentored, six each at the Ph.D. and M.S. levels. One-half of the Ph.D.'s and all of the M.S graduates are women. M.S students have either pursued the Ph.D. or MD, or entered academia, industry or clinical labs. Of the six Ph.D. students, two are working in industry and the others are in academia. Six post-doctoral fellows have been mentored. Dr. DeLeon is extending her mentoring to include under-represented minority high school seniors.