Leanne received her B.S. degree from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. She then received her Ph.D. degree in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Harvard University, where she worked with Dr. Karl Münger in the Department of Pathology on the role of the human papillomavirus E7 oncoprotein in cervical carcinogenesis. For her postdoctoral studies, she worked in the laboratory of Margaret Fuller at Stanford University School of Medicine and focused on characterizing the role that extrinsic factors play in regulating stem cell behavior and tissue homeostasis. After her postdoctoral work, Leanne became an Assistant Professor in the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, CA. In 2013, Leanne moved her lab to UCLA, where she is a Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. In addition, she remains an Adjunct Professor at the Salk Institute. Leanne received an Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging Award, as well a New Faculty Award from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Her work currently focuses on characterizing mechanisms that influence stem cell behavior by using Drosophila melanogaster and human stem cells as model systems.