Geneticist Patricia A. DeLeon was born on July 13, 1944 in Port Maria, Jamaica. After graduating from the University of the West Indies with her B.Sc. degree in chemistry and zoology in 1967 and her M.Sc. degree in medical genetics in 1969 DeLeon enrolled at the University of Western Ontario and graduated from there in 1972 with her Ph.D. degree in microscopic anatomy before completing post-doctoral studies in cell biology and cell genetics at McGill University in 1975.
Upon graduation, DeLeon worked in several industry and academic positions. She served as a visiting scientist at the Johns Hopkins University, a visiting faculty at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and as an adjunct professor at Penn State University College of Medicine. DeLeon joined the faculty of the University of Delaware in 1976, and was named the Trustees Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences in 2009. Her work has produced three patents issued or pending and over one-hundred publications and abstracts, and has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). DeLeon served on the editorial boards of several scientific journals and on the Executive Council of the American Society of Andrology (ASA). She has been as a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee and the NIH and National Science Foundation Review Panels. In addition, she has mentored more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students in STEM fields.
DeLeon is widely recognized for her contributions to andrology, which deals with male reproductive health. In 2007, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring from NSF; and, in 2010, she received the Distinguished Contribution Award from the Excelsior Alumni Association, USA. Inc. and was the Distinguished Alumna and Honoree of the Commemoration and Homecoming Celebrations of the University of the West Indies. The National Institute of Higher Education, Research Science and Technology (NIHERST) awarded DeLeon the Caribbean Women in Science Medal in 2011 and President Barack Obama presented her with the U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring in 2012.
Geneticist Patricia A. DeLeon was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 27, 2013.