Lesley O'Leary


Lesley O’Leary is a Lecturer of Chemistry at Rice University. Originally from Dallas, Texas, O’Leary ventured to the east coast for her undergraduate career and received her B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia. Her undergraduate research focused on bio-analytical materials and biosensor development. After spending a year post-graduation as a Staff Researcher in Prof. Michael Leopold’s lab, O’Leary decided to come back to Texas to pursue a graduate degree in Chemistry. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Rice University during which time she was a Welch Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellow and a NIH-Keck Center Nanobiology Fellow. Under the mentorship of Prof. Jeffrey Hartgerink, O’Leary studied the multi-hierarchical self-assembly of collagen mimetic peptides to both characterize collagen at the molecular level and to provide added control within collagen systems for tissue engineering applications.

O’Leary’s passion for teaching chemistry emerged during her graduate work when she served as Head Teaching Assistant for the general chemistry lab and mentored numerous NSF summer research fellows. For the year following her Ph.D., she served as Instructor of Chemistry and Weiss Instructor of Chemistry at Rice University where she was the primary instructor of Honors General Chemistry Lab and the co-instructor for General Chemistry Lab. O’Leary decided to step back from her career at Rice in order to focus on her family and after spending five years away, she re-joined the Rice faculty in an adjunct role teaching Organic Chemistry Discussion. Since 2018, O’Leary has held the title of Lecturer of Chemistry within the Rice Chemistry Department and has taught a number of chemistry courses including General Chemistry I (CHEM 121), General Chemistry II (CHEM 122), General Chemistry I Lab (CHEM 123), General Chemistry II Lab (CHEM 124), and the discussion sections for both Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 213) and Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 214).


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