Leslie received both her BS (Biology/Chemistry) and PhD (Entomology/Toxicology) from the University of California Riverside. She is a Certified Board Director (UCLA Anderson School of Business) and serves on advisory boards for the UC Riverside College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (CNAS), the UC Innovation Council and several biotech startups.
Leslie is Vice President, New Business for BioAtla, a San Diego biopharmaceutical company developing Conditionally Active Biologic drugs to treat cancer. She has extensive R&D leadership, business and transactional experience across multiple industries leading to several legacy products with multi-million dollar sales. Prior to joining BioAtla, she managed the San Diego headquarters and led corporate development for Synthetic Genomics, a company founded by Dr. Craig Venter to progress the development of biobased fuels and synthetic biology. Previous to SGI, while at Diversa, AgriLynx, Mycogen and Stauffer Chemical (now Syngenta) she played critical rolls in R&D, as well as identifying and fostering strategic alliances with commercial partners. She has led and mentored teams that have developed novel chemical and biopesticides, plant traits, vaccines, therapeutics, and technology platforms; she is co- inventor on issued and pending patents, is editor of a book on analytical chemistry, and co-author of publications in animal health and agriculture. She has co-founded successful biotech companies and served as a business and technical consultant to Bayer, California EPA, Schering Plough, Pioneer Hi-Bred, DuPont, Dow Chemical, and California Poultry Federation.