Dr. Diane Kathryn Lavett was born in Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1944, and she grew up in Royal Oak and Berkley, Michigan, suburbs of Detroit. Married after her first year at the University of Chicago, Diane received a B.A. (1969) and a Ph.D. (1974) in biology, with a specialization in genetics from Emory University. While at Yale University doing a postdoctoral fellowship in DNA biochemistry, she received an M.S. (1980) in marriage and family counseling, from Southern Connecticut State University.
Diane has taught many courses in biology but has specialized in genetics. She taught at Emory University, Kennesaw State College, Clark-Atlanta University, and received tenure at The State University of New York at Cortland. Diane has done research in genetics and has been a genetics counselor at Northside Hospital and the Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children in Atlanta. She was an expert witness in the use of genetic analysis in crime scene materials in over 90 criminal trials, and she has published ten college textbooks and many professional articles. Most of all, she has always considered herself to be a teacher.
She lives in Atlanta, Georgia and spends many weeks every year on an island off the coast of Charleston. Her Labrador retriever Addie is her constant companion on daily walks in the woods in Atlanta and along the South Carolina ocean shore.
The author, age 51, 1995, in the author's office. Photo by Victoria Finnerty